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'Darlington  Memorial  Library 
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V.  / 


MEMOIRS 


OK 


JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS, 


COMPRISING    PORTIONS    OF 


HIS    DIARY    FROM    1795    TO    1848. 


EDITED    BY 

CHARLES    FRANCIS   ADAMS. 


VOL.  I. 


PHILADELPHIA: 

J.    B.    LIPPINCOTT    &    CO. 

1874. 


*„• 


Entered  according  to  Act  of  Congress,  in  the  year  1874,  by 

J.    B.    LIPPINCOTT    &    CO., 
In  the  Office  of  the  Librarian  of  Congress  at  Washington. 


TABLE    OF    CONTENTS. 


CHAPTER    I.  pAGE 

Birth  and  Education 3 

CHAPTER    II. 
The  Mission  to  Holland 30 

CHAPTER    III. 
The  Mission  to  Holland, — continued 38 

CHAPTER    IV. 

A  Mission  to  Great  Britain — Appointment  to  Portugal  .         .        .121 

CHAPTER    V. 
Marriage,  and  the  Mission  to  Prussia 193 

CHAPTER    VI. 
The  Senate  of  Massachusetts — The  Senate  of  the  United  States  .  248 


PREFACE. 


I  trust  I  may  be  pardoned  for  offering  some  explanation  of 
the  form  in  which  I  have  decided  to  put  the  present  publication. 

It  is  now  six-and-twenty  years  since  the  event  happened 
which  devolved  on  me  alone  a  grave  responsibility  as  the 
custodian  of  a  voluminous  mass  of  manuscripts  accumulated 
during  seventy-five  years  of  continuous  service  of  two  public 
men,  father  and  son. 

Of  their  value  as  materials  contributing  to  the  history  of  the 
rise  and  progress  of  the  United  States  in  its  first  century,  I 
could  not  entertain  a  doubt.  Their  importance  in  elucidating 
a  specific  course  of  action,  often  connected  with  heavy  respon- 
sibilities to  the  state,  seemed  equally  obvious.  Not  insensible 
to  the  hazard  attending  their  preservation  in  a  country  passing 
through  social  changes  so  rapidly  as  this  does,  and  warned 
by  well-known  instances  of  dispersion  and  loss  in  other 
quarters,  it  has  been  my  leading  wish  to  place  the  essential 
portions  of  this  collection  intrusted  to  my  care  out  of  the 
reach  of  danger,  by  publication  in  my  own  day. 

Moved  by  these  considerations,  I  lost  no  time  in  entering 
upon  my  labors,  by  first  preparing  for  the  press  a  collection  of 
the  papers  connected  with  the  life  and  times  of  John  Adams. 
This  duty  was  fulfilled  by  the  production  in  succession  of  ten 
large  octavo  volumes,  requiring  on  my  part  the  assiduous 
application  of  eight  consecutive  years.  It  is  doing  no  more 
than  justice  to  the  liberality  of  the  Congress  of  the  United 


VI 


PREFACE. 


States,  to  recognize  the  assistance  given  to  this  part  of  the 
undertaking  by  a  subscription  for  one  thousand  copies. 

The  next  and  far  the  most  difficult  part  of  the  work  yet 
remained.  The  papers  left  by  John  Quincy  Adams  were  not 
only  much  more  numerous,  but  they  embraced  a  far  wider 
variety  of  topics.  Whilst  the  public  life  of  the  father  scarcely 
covered  twenty-eight  years,  that  of  the  son  stretched  beyond 
fifty-three.  Fully  aware  of  the  danger  of  losing  time,  if  my 
design  was  fully  to  complete  the  task,  I  applied  myself  at 
once  to  the  labor  of  reading  for  a  selection  not  less  than  a 
preparation  of  materials  for  the  press.  But  circumstances 
needless  to  detail  just  then  interposed,  which  seemed  to  com- 
mand my  own  services  in  public  life  at  so  wide  a  distance  from 
home  as  to  make  a  further  prosecution  of  this  plan  for  a  time 
impracticable.  Yet  I  may  say  with  truth  that,  during  this 
interval  of  nearly  twelve  years,  the  hope  of  returning  to  it 
was  never  out  of  my  mind.  And  when  at  last  relieved  by  the 
kindness  of  the  government,  at  my  own  request,  I  hastened 
to  resume  the  thread  of  my  investigation  just  at  the  point 
where  I  had  left  it  so  long  before. 

The  chief  difficulty  in  the  latter  part  of  this  enterprise 
has  grown  out  of  the  superabundance  of  the  materials.  Not 
many  persons  have  left  behind  them  a  greater  variety  of  papers 
than  John  Quincy  Adams,  all  more  or  less  marked  by  charac- 
teristic modes  of  thought,  and  illustrating  his  principles  of 
public  and  private  action.  Independently  of  a  diary  kept 
almost  continuously  for  sixty-five  years,  and  of  numbers  of 
other  productions,  official  and  otherwise,  already  printed,  there 
is  a  variety  of  discussion  and  Criticism  on  different  topics, 
together  with  correspondence  public  and  private,  which,  if  it 
were  all  to  be  published,  as  was  that  of  Voltaire,  would  be 
likely  quite  to  equal  in  quantity  the  hundred  volumes  of  that 
expansive  writer. 


PREFACE.  vii 

But  this  example  of  Voltaire  is  one  which  might  properly 
serve  as  a  lesson  for  warning,  rather  than  for  imitation.  No 
reader  can  dip  into  his  pages  in  the  most  cursory  manner  with- 
out noticing  how  often  a  mind  even  so  versatile  as  his  repeats 
the  same  thoughts,  and  how  much  better  character  is  under- 
stood by  means  of  a  single  happy  stroke,  than  by  dwelling 
upon  it  through  pages  of  elaboration. 

The  chief  objects  to  be  attained  by  publishing  the  papers 
of  eminent  men  seem  to  be  the  elucidation  of  the  history 
of  the  times  in  which  they  acted,  and  of  the  extent  to  which 
they  exercised  a  personal  influence  upon  opinion  as  well  as 
upon  events.  Where  the  materials  to  gain  these  ends  may  be 
drawn  directly  from  their  own  testimony,  it  would  seem  far 
more  advisable  to  adopt  them  at  once,  as  they  stand,  than  to 
substitute  explanations  or  disquisitions,  the  offspring  of  imper- 
fect impressions  painfully  gathered  long  afterward  at  second 
hand. 

It  so  happens  that  in  the  present  instance  there  remains  a 
record  of  life  carefully  kept  by  John  Quincy  Adams  for  nearly 
the  whole  of  his  active  days,  and  in  condition  so  good  as 
but  to  need  careful  abridgment  to  serve  the  purposes  above 
pointed  out.  It  may  reasonably  be  doubted  whether  any 
attempt  of  the  kind  has  ever  been  more  completely  executed 
by  a  public  man.  The  elaborate  memoirs  of  St.-Simon,  which 
fill  twenty  volumes,  on  the  one  side,  and  those  of  Grimm  and 
Diderot,  which  make  sixteen  more,  on  the  other,  may  be  cited 
perhaps  as  similar  examples  of  industry.  But  although  each 
of  these  publications  may  perhaps  have  its  points  of  superior 
attraction,  they  both  want  that  particular  feature  which  is  most 
prominent  here,  the  personification  of  the  individual  himself 
in  direct  connection  with  all  the  scenes  in  which  he  becomes 
an  actor,  and  the  examination  to  which  he  subjects  himself 
far  more    severely  than   he   does  those  about  him.      In  this 


viii  PREFACE. 

respect  the  contrast  between  him  and  St.-Simon  is  striking, 
as  also  in  a  superiority  in  aspiration  for  the  good  and  the 
pure  both  in  theory  and  action,  which  is  more  or  less  felt  to 
pervade  every  page. 

After  careful  meditation  over  the  materials  of  this  great 
trust,  I  reached  the  conclusion  that  it  would  be  best  to  set 
aside  the  rest  of  the  papers,  and  fix  upon  this  diary  as 
altogether  the  surest  mode  of  attaining  the  desired  results. 
Having  settled  this  point,  the  next  question  that  arose  was 
upon  the  mode  of  making  the  publication.  It  was  very 
clear  that  abridgment  was  indispensable.  Assuming  this  to 
be  certain,  it  became  necessary  to  fix  upon  a  rule  of  selection 
which  should  be  fair  and  honest.  To  attain  that  object  I 
came  to  the  following  conclusions:  ist.  To  eliminate  the  de- 
tails of  common  life  and  events  of  no  interest  to  the  public. 
2d.  To  reduce  the  moral  and  religious  speculations,  in  which 
the  work  abounds,  so  far  as  to  escape  repetition  of  sentiments 
once  declared.  3d.  Not  to  suppress  strictures  upon  contempo- 
raries, but  to  give  them  only  when  they  are  upon  public  men 
acting  in  the  same  sphere  with  the  writer.  In  point  of  fact, 
there  are  very  few  others.  4th.  To  suppress  nothing  of  his 
own  habits  of  self-examination,  even  when  they  might  be 
thought  most  to  tell  against  himself.  5th.  To  abstain  altogether 
from  modification  of  the  sentiments  or  the  very  words,  and 
substitution  of  what  might  seem  better  ones,  in  every  case 
but  that  of  obvious  error  in  writing.  Guided  by  these  rules,  I 
trust  I  have  supplied  pretty  much  all  in  these  volumes  which 
the  most  curious  reader  would  be  desirous  to  know. 

I  am  not  unaware  of  the  objections  commonly  made  to  pub- 
lications of  this  kind,  in  their  relation  to  opinions  or  action 
ascribed  to  other  persons  no  longer  in  life  to  protect  their 
own  reputations,  or  who  have  left  scanty  means  of  rectification 
behind  them.     I  fully  admit  the  force  of  a  remark  attributed 


PREFACE. 


IX 


to  a  distinguished  statesman,  John  C.  Calhoun,  in  reference  to 
any  diary,  that  it  carries  conclusive  evidence  only  as  against 
the  writer  himself.  Yet  I  cannot  but  add,  on  the  other  side, 
what  is  a  fact  remaining  on  record,  that  this  eminent  man, 
when  attacked  at  a  critical  moment  by  bitter  opponents,  for 
certain  acts  done  by  him  long  before,  did  not  hesitate  to  appeal 
to  the  writer  of  this  diary,  a  colleague  in  President  Monroe's 
cabinet,  for  reminiscences  drawn  from  this  very  book,  in  his 
justification,  and  he  obtained  them,  too.  That  a  diary  should 
furnish  conclusive  proof  in  any  case  can  scarcely  be  assumed, 
in  the  face  of  the  conceded  infirmity  of  all  human  testimony 
whatever.  The  most  that  can  be  claimed  for  it  is,  that  it 
shall  be  tested  by  the  established  rules  applied  to  permanent 
testimony  in  all  judicial  tribunals. 

Very  fortunately  for  this  undertaking,  the  days  have  passed 
when  the  bitterness  of  party  spirit  prevented  the  possibility 
of  arriving  at  calm  judgments  of  human  action  during  the 
period  to  which  it  relates.  Another  more  fearful  conflict,  not 
restrained  within  the  limits  of  controversy  however  passionate, 
has  so  far  changed  the  currents  of  American  feeling  as  to 
throw  all  earlier  recollections  at  once  into  the  remote  domain 
called  history.  It  seems,  then,  a  suitable  moment  for  the  sub- 
mission to  the  public  of  the  testimony  of  one  of  the  leading 
actors  in  the  earlier  era  of  the  republic.  I  can  only  add  that 
in  my  labors  I  have  confined  myself  strictly  to  the  duty  of 
explanation  and  illustration  of  what  time  may  have  rendered 
obscure  in  the  text.  Whatever  does  appear  there  remains  just 
as  the  author  wrote  it.  Whether  for  weal  or  for  woe,  he  it  is 
who  has  made  his  own  pedestal,  whereon  to  take  his  stand,  to 
be  judged  by  posterity,  so  far  as  that  verdict  may  fall  within 
the  province  of  all  later  generations  of  mankind. 

Charles  Francis  Adams. 


MEMOIRS 


JOHN   QUINCY  ADAMS. 


MEMOIRS  OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS. 


CHAPTER    I. 

BIRTH    AND    EDUCATION. 

It  may  reasonably  be  doubted  whether  any  man  ever  left 
behind  him  more  abundant  materials  for  the  elucidation  of  his 
career,  from  the  cradle  to  the  grave,  than  John  Quincy  Adams. 

The  eldest  son  of  John  and  Abigail  Adams,  he  was  born  on 
the  nth  of  July,  1767.  The  next  day  he  received  his  baptismal 
name,  at  the  instance  of  his  maternal  grandmother,  present  at 
the  birth,  whose  affection  for  her  father,  then  lying  at  the  point 
of  death,  doubtless  prompted  a  desire  to  connect  his  name 
with  the  new-born  child.  John  Quincy  was  close  upon  his 
seventy-ninth  year.  A  large  part  of  his  life  had  been  spent  in 
the  narrow  career  of  public  service  then  open  to  British  colo- 
nists in  America.  He  had  been  twenty  years  a  legislator,  so 
far  as  the  popular  assembly  had  power  to  make  the  laws,  and 
he  presided  some  time  over  its  deliberations.  He  had  been  in 
the  executive  department,  so  far  as  one  of  Her  Majesty's  coun- 
cil could  be  said  to  share  in  the  powers  of  a  governor  deputed 
by  the  crown.  And  he  had  been  a  diplomatic  agent,  so  far  as 
that  term  could  be  applied  to  successful  negotiations  with  In- 
dian tribes.  For  these  various  labors  he  had  received  acknowl- 
edgments and  rewards,  the  evidence  whereof  yet  appears  spread 
forth  in  the  pages  of  the  colonial  records.  The  contrast  in  the 
scale  of  this  career  with  that  now  to  be  shown  of  the  great- 
grandson  furnishes  a  notable  illustration  of  the  social  not  less 
than  the  political  revolution  which  one  century  brought  about 
in  America. 

3 


4  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS. 

Twelve  days  before  the  birth  of  the  child,  the  pliable  but  not 
maladroit  Charles  Townshend,  in  the  British  House  of  Com- 
mons, had  entered  upon  what  Burke  designates  as  the  fourth 
period  of  the  Anglo-American  policy  of  that  time.  Not  in- 
sensible to  the  chance  of  grasping  the  highest  prize  offered 
to  ambition  in  his  country, — a  prize  then  dropping  from  the 
nerveless  hand  of  Chatham, — he  bethought  himself  of  a  device 
which  might  at  once  win  for  him  the  favor  both  of  king  and 
commons.  He  would  retract  at  least  in  part  the  mortifying 
concessions  made  to  American  resistance  only  the  year  before 
by  the  repeal  of  George  Grenville's  stamp  act.  He  would  re- 
establish the  principle  of  taxation  in  a  less  exceptionable  form. 
His  plan  met  with  favor,  and,  for  a  moment,  nothing  could  seem 
more  propitious  to  the  fulfilment  of  his  highest  hopes.  Un- 
happily, Townshend  survived  only  long  enough  to  know  that 
the  fruits  which  he  expected  to  gather  were  to  fall  to  other  lips. 
But  if  Lord  North  was  the  person  to  enjoy  the  sweets,  to  him 
also  was  it  reserved  to  taste  the  bitterness.  And  this  sequence 
of  events,  involving  the  fate,  not  of  that  minister  alone,  but  of 
myriads  of  the  human  race  on  both  sides  of  the  ocean,  was  to 
affect  the  fortunes  of  no  single  individual  among  them  all  more 
profoundly  than  those  of  the  infant  then  lying  in  his  cradle  in 
the  little  village  of  Braintree,  in  the  Massachusetts  Bay. 

Seven  years  passed  away,  and  the  disputes  springing  from 
this  root  of  bitterness  grew  higher  and  higher.  They  agitated 
no  household  more  than  that  in  which  this  boy  was  growing 
up.  His  father,  from  pursuing  a  strictly  professional  life,  began 
to  feel  himself  impelled  more  and  more  into  the  vortex  of  con- 
troversy which  was  ultimately  to  bring  on  the  collision  of 
opposite  forces.  His  mother's  temperament  readily  caught 
the  rising  spirit  of  popular  enthusiasm  in  the  colony,  and  com- 
municated it  to  her  child.  Then  came  the  first  fearful  conflict 
of  armed  men,  the  sounds  of  which  spread  even  to  her  own 
dwelling.  She  took  the  boy,  then  not  seven  years  old,  by  the 
hand,  and  they  mounted  a  height  close  by,  there  to  catch 
what  might  be  seen  or  heard  of  the  fight  raging  upon  the  hill 
but  a  few  miles  away.  Thus  it  was  that  she  fixed  in  his  mind 
an  impression  never  effaced  to  his  latest  hour.     Only  two  years 


BIRTH  AND   EDUCATION. 


5 


before  he  died  he  gave  expression  to  this  feeling  in  a  letter 
responding  to  a  complaint  made  by  a  highly  respected  English 
gentleman,  a  member  of  the  Society  of  Friends,  deprecating 
what  seemed  an  unfriendly  spirit  to  Great  Britain,  shown  in 
one  of  his  last  public  speeches,  in  a  manner  so  characteristic 
that  it  properly  finds  a  place  in  this  connection.  Thus  he 
writes  in  1846  to  Mr.  Sturge,  of  Birmingham  : 

"  The  year  1775  was  the  eighth  year  of  my  age.  Among  the 
first  fruits  of  the  War  was  the  expulsion  of  my  father's  family 
from  their  peaceful  abode  in  Boston  to  take  refuge  in  his  and 
my  native  town  of  Braintree.  Boston  became  a  walled  and 
beleaguered  town,  garrisoned  by  British  Grenadiers,  with 
Thomas  Gage,  their  Commanding  General,  commissioned  Gov- 
ernor of  the  Province.  For  the  space  of  twelve  months,  my 
mother  with  her  infant  children  dwelt,  liable  every  hour  of  the 
day  and  of  the  night  to  be  butchered  in  cold  blood,  or  taken 
and  carried  into  Boston  as  hostages,  by  any  foraging  or  ma- 
rauding detachment  of  men,  like  that  actually  sent  forth  on 
the  19th  April  to  capture  John  Hancock  and  Samuel  Adams, 
on  their  way  to  attend  the  continental  Congress  at  Philadelphia. 
My  father  was  separated  from  his  family,  on  his  way  to  attend 
the  same  continental  Congress,  and  there  my  mother  with  her 
children  lived  in  unintermitted  danger  of  being  consumed  with 
them  all  in  a  conflagration  kindled  by  a  torch  in  the  same 
hands  which  on  the  17th  of  June  lighted  the  fires  of  Charles- 
town.  I  saw  with  my  own  eyes  those  fires,  and  heard  Britannia's 
thunders  in  the  battle  of  Bunker's  Hill,  and  witnessed  the  tears 
of  my  mother  and  mingled  with  them  my  own,  at  the  fall  of 
Warren,  a  dear  friend  of  my  father,  and  a  beloved  Physician  to 
me.  He  had  been  our  family  physician  and  surgeon,  and  had 
saved  my  forefinger  from  amputation  under  a  very  bad  fracture. 
Even  in  the  days  of  heathen  and  conquering  Rome,  the  Laureate 
of  Augustus  Caesar  tells  us,  that  wars  were  detested  by  mothers, 
even  by  Roman  Mothers, — 'Bella  matronis  detestata.'  My 
Mother  was  the  daughter  of  a  Christian  Clergyman,  and  there- 
fore bred  in  the  faith  of  deliberate  detestation  of  War,  super- 
added to  the  impulsive  abhorrence  of  the  Roman  mothers.   Yet 


6  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS. 

in  that  same  spring  and  summer  of  1775,  she  taught  me  to 
repeat  daily,  after  the  Lord's  Prayer,  before  rising  from  bed,  the 
Ode  of  Collins  on  the  patriot  warriors  who  fell  in  the  war  to 
subdue  the  Jacobite  rebellion  of  1745. 

How  sleep  the  brave  who  sink  to  rest 
By  all  their  Country's  wishes  blest ! 
When  Spring,  with  dewy  fingers  cold, 
Returns  to  deck  their  hallow'd  mould, 
She  there  shall  dress  a  sweeter  sod 
Than  Fancy's  feet  have  ever  trod. 

By  Fairy  hands  their  knell  is  rung, 
By  forms  unseen  their  dirge  is  sung, 
There  Honour  comes,  a  pilgrim  grey, 
To  watch  the  turf  that  wraps  their  clay, 
And  Freedom  shall  awhile  repair, 
To  dwell,  a  weeping  Hermit,  there. 

"  Of  the  impression  made  upon  my  heart  by  the  sentiments 
inculcated  in  these  beautiful  effusions  of  patriotism  and  poetry, 
you  may  form  an  estimate,  by  the  fact  that  now,  seventy-one 
years  after  they  were  thus  taught  me,  I  repeat  them  from  memory, 
without  reference  to  the  book.1  Have  they  ever  shaken  my 
abhorrence  of  War?  Far  otherwise.  They  have  riveted  it  to 
my  soul  with  hooks  of  steel.  But  it  is  to  war  waged  by  tyrants 
and  oppressors,  against  the  rights  of  human  nature  and  the 
liberties  and  rightful  interests  of  my  country,  that  my  abhor- 
rence is  confined.  War  in  defence  of  these,  far  from  deserving 
my  execration,  is,  in  my  deliberate  belief,  a  religious  and  sacred 
duty. 

"Duke  et  decorum  est,  pro  patria  mori." 

The  year  before  the  event  here  described,  the  writer's  father, 
as  is  stated  in  this  letter,  had  been  commissioned  as  one  of  four 
delegates  of  Massachusetts  to  attend  a  Congress  at  Philadelphia, 
with  a  view  to  mature  a  unity  of  action  among  the  colonies. 
From  that  time  his  absences  from  his  family  necessarily  became 
frequent  and  protracted.  It  was  during  one  of  these  that  the 
incident  took  place.    The  boy  on  this  account  became  naturally 

1  There  is  but  one  error.  In  the  fourth  line  of  the  second  stanza,  the  word 
"  watch  "  is  substituted  for  "  bless." 


BIRTH  AND  EDUCATION.  7 

more  and  more  of  a  companion,  deeply  sympathizing  with  his 
mother.  Hence  it  was  that  in  a  letter  to  her  husband,  she  tells 
him  that,  to  relieve  her  anxiety  for  early  intelligence,  Master 
John  had  cheerfully  consented  to  become  "  post-rider"  for  her 
between  her  residence  and  Boston.  As  the  distance  by  the 
nearest  road  of  that  day  was  not  less  than  eleven  miles  each 
way,  the  undertaking  was  not  an  easy  one  for  a  boy  barely  nine 
years  old. 

Of  course,  the  few  facilities  for  education  then  within  reach 
were  materially  obstructed,  and  remained  so,  even  after  the 
scene  of  war  was  removed  farther  south.  It  does  not  appear 
that  the  boy  attended  any  regular  school.  What  he  learned 
was  caught  chiefly  from  elder  persons  around  him.  Those  of 
whom  he  saw  the  most,  outside  of  the  family,  were  three  or 
four  young  men  still  preparing,  under  the  tuition  of  his  father, 
to  fit  themselves  for  the  legal  profession,  according  to  the  habits 
of  that  time.  But  they,  one  after  another,  fell  off,  taking  com- 
missions to  serve  in  the  war,  until  but  one  remained,  a  kinsman 
of  his  mother,  by  the  name  of  Thaxter,  who  subsequently  be- 
came his  father's  secretary  during  his  second  mission  to  Europe. 
To  him  John  Quincy  was  indebted  for  assistance  more  than  to 
any  one  else  outside  of  his  family.  Yet,  after  all,  the  fact  remains 
clear  that  without  the  exercise  of  his  own  earnest  will  he  would 
have  made  little  progress.  What  he  felt  on  the  subject  can  be 
best  collected  from  his  own  words.  Here  is  a  genuine  boy's 
letter  written  to  his  father.  It  is  dated  in  the  same  year  that 
he  became  post-rider.  It  is  given  exactly  as  it  remains  in  his 
own  handwriting. 

Braintree,  June  the  2nd,  1777. 

Dear  Sir, — I  love  to  receive  letters  very  well ;  much  better 
than  I  love  to  write  them.  I  make  but  a  poor  figure  at 
composition,  my  head  is  much  too  fickle,  my  thoughts  are 
running  after  birds  eggs  play  and  trifles,  till  I  get  vexed  with 
myself.  Mamma  has  a  troublesome  task  to  keep  me  steady, 
and  I  own  I  am  ashamed  of  myself.  I  have  but  just  entered 
the  3d  volume  of  Smollet,  tho'  I  had  designed  to  have  got  it 
half  through  by  this  time.  I  have  determined  this  week  to  be 
more  diligent,  as  Mr.  Thaxter  will  be  absent  at  Court,  &  I 


8  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS. 

cannot  persue  my  other  studies.  I  have  Set  myself  a  Stent 
&  determine  to  read  the  3d  volume  Half  out.  If  I  can  but 
keep  my  resolution,  I  will  write  again  at  the  end  of  the  week 
and  give  a  better  account  of  myself.  I  wish,  Sir,  you  would 
give  me  some  instructions,  with  regard  to  my  time,  &  advise 
me  how  to  proportion  my  Studies  &  my  Play,  in  writing,  & 
I  will  keep  them  by  me,  &  endeavour  to  follow  them.  I 
am,  dear  Sir,  with  a  present  determination  of  growing  better, 
yours. 

P.S. — Sir,  if  you  will  be  so  good  as  to  favour  me  with  a 
Blank  book,  I  will  transcribe  the  most  remarkable  occurances 
I  mett  with  in  my  reading,  which  will  serve  to  fix  them  upon 
my  mind. 

The  following  year  brought  the  great  change  which  gave  a 
turn  to  the  rest  of  his  life.  John  Adams  was  commissioned  by 
the  Continental  Congress  to  take  the  place  at  the  court  of 
France  forfeited  by  Silas  Deane.  This  was  in  the  hottest  part 
of  the  war.  He  accepted  the  post,  and  on  the  13th  of  Febru- 
ary, 1778,  embarked  from  the  shore  of  his  own  town  in  the 
little  frigate  Boston,  lying  off  in  the  harbor  waiting  for  him. 
His  son  went  with  him.  After  a  stormy  voyage  the  vessel 
reached  Bordeaux,  and  landed  her  passengers  on  the  1st  of 
April,  1779.  They  proceeded  to  Passy,  in  the  environs  of  Paris, 
the  place  since  made  memorable  as  the  residence  of  Franklin, 
but  in  which  the  other  commissioners  had  also  resided.  Not 
many  days  were  lost  in  putting  him  to  a  school  close  by,  and 
here  he  acquired  that  familiarity  with  the  French  language 
which  proved  of  such  essential  service  to  him  in  his  subsequent 
diplomatic  career. 

He  was  eleven  years  old.  It  was  then  that  the  idea  of 
writing  a  regular  journal  was  first  suggested  to  him.  A  letter 
to  his  mother,  in  which  he  explains  himself,  is  of  importance 
in  this  connection.     It  is  given  literatim: 

Passy,  September  the  27th,  177S. 
Honoured  Mamma, — My  Pappa  enjoins  it  upon  me  to  keep 
a  journal,  or  a  diary  of  the  Events  that  happen  to  me,  and  of 


BIRTH  AND  EDUCATION.  g 

objects  that  I  see,  and  of  Characters  that  I  converse  with  from 
day  to  day  ;  and  altho.  I  am  convinced  of  the  utility,  impor- 
tance &  necessity  of  this  Exercise,  yet  I  have  not  patience  and 
perseverance  enough  to  do  it  so  Constantly  as  I  ought.  My 
Pappa,  who  takes  a  great  deal  of  Pains  to  put  me  in  the  right 
way,  has  also  advised  me  to  Preserve  copies  of  all  my  letters, 
&  has  given  me  a  Convenient  Blank  Book  for  this  end ;  and 
altho  I  shall  have  the  mortification  a  few  years  hence  to  read  a 
great  deal  of  my  Childish  nonsense,  yet  I  shall  have  the 
Pleasure  and  advantage  of  Remarking  the  several  steps  by 
which  I  shall  have  advanced  in  taste  judgment  and  knowl- 
edge. A  journal  Book  &  a  letter  Book  of  a  Lad  of  Eleven 
years  old  Can  not  be  expected  to  contain  much  of  Science, 
Litterature,  arts,  wisdom,  or  wit,  yet  it  may  serve  to  perpetuate 
many  observations  that  I  may  make,  &  may  hereafter  help  me 
to  recolect  both  persons  &  things  that  would  other  ways  escape 
my  memory.  I  have  been  to  see  the  Palace  &  gardens  of 
Versailles,  the  Military  scholl  at  Paris,  the  hospital  of  Invalids, 
the  hospital  of  Foundling  Children,  the  Church  of  Notre  Dame, 
the  Heights  of  Calvare,  of  Montmartre,  of  Minemontan,  & 
other  scenes  of  Magnificence  in  &  about  Paris,  which,  if  I  had 
written  down  in  a  diary  or  a  letter  Book,  would  give  me  at 
this  time  much  pleasure  to  revise  &  would  enable  me  here- 
after to  entertain  my  friends,  but  I  have  neglected  it.  &  there- 
fore can  now  only  resolve  to  be  more  thoughtful  and  Indus- 
trious for  the  Future.  &  to  encourage  me  in  this  resolution  & 
enable  me  to  keep  it  with  more  ease  &  advantage,  my  father 
has  given  me  hopes  of  a  Pencil  &  Pencil  Book  in  which  I 
can  make  notes  upon  the  spot  to  be  transfered  afterwards  in 
my  Diary  &  my  letters  this  will  give  me  great  pleasure  both 
because  it  will  be  a  sure  means  of  improvement  to  myself  & 
enable  me  to  be  more  entertaing  to  you. 

I  am  my  ever  honoured  and  revered  Mamma  your  Dutiful 
&  affectionate  Son  John  Quincy  Adams 

Though  the  intention  to  commence  this  undertaking  is  thus 
declared,  it  does  not  appear  to  have  been  immediately  executed. 
Six  months  had  barely  elapsed,  and  he  had  got  well  settled  in 


I0  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS. 

his  studies,  when  affairs  took  a  turn  which  again  broke  up  all 
regularity  of  occupations.  His  father,  left  without  further 
public  duties  by  the  abolition  of  the  French  commission  of 
three  persons,  decided  to  return  home.  The  result  was  his 
acceptance  of  a  passage  in  the  French  frigate  Sensible,  then 
ready  to  carry  to  America  the  Chevalier  de  la  Luzerne,  the 
first  French  envoy  to  the  new  republic,  and  his  secretary,  Barbe 
Marbois.  Landed  safely  at  home,  he  had  scarcely  resumed  his 
old  habits  when  another  call  came  from  the  Congress  to  cross 
the  sea  again.  Only  three  months  intervened  before  he  and 
his  son  were  once  more  on  the  way  to  France  in  the  very 
same  vessel  that  had  brought  them  out. 

This  irregularity  of  life  could  scarcely  be  deemed  favorable 
to  the  boy's  progress  in  learning.  And  yet  it  probably  advanced 
an  apt  scholar  like  him  far  more  than  systematic  instruction 
would  have  done.  He  was  brought  at  once  into  close  com- 
panionship with  men  of  culture  and  refinement,  much  older 
than  himself,  whose  conversation  was  worth  listening  to.  The 
French  minister  and  his  secretary,  afterwards  the  Marquis  de 
Marbois,  as  well  as  the  naval  officers  attached  to  the  frigate, 
took  much  interest  in  him  on  the  outward  voyage ;  and  on 
the  return,  their  places  were  more  than  made  up  to  him  by 
the  presence  of  Francis  Dana,  then  going  out  on  his  mission 
to  St.  Petersburg,  and  of  his  kinsman  and  home  teacher,  Mr. 
Thaxter. 

It  was  upon  the  entrance  on  this  last  voyage  that  he  made 
his  first  attempt  to  execute  the  plan  marked  out  in  his  letter 
of  the  year  before.  It  still  remains,  in  the  form  of  two  or  three 
small  books  of  perhaps  sixty  pages  in  all,  stitched  together 
under  a  brown  paper  cover.  The  first  of  these  is  prefaced  by 
this  title : 

A  Journal  by  J.  Q.  A. 
From  America 

to 

Spain  Vol.  i. 

begun  Friday  12  of  November 

1779. 


BIRTH  AND  EDUCATION.  TI 

The  frigate  sprang  a  leak  on  the  voyage,  which  proved  so 
serious  that  the  commander  decided  to  put  in  at  the  nearest 
port.  This  proved  to  be  Ferrol,  in  Spain.  The  detention  for 
repairs  threatened  to  be  so  long  that  the  passengers  decided  to 
leave  her  and  make  the  best  of  their  way  overland  to  Paris. 
This  journal,  with  the  common  details  of  rough  travel,  contains 
notes  and  observations  upon  the  principal  objects  of  interest 
pointed  out  on  the  way,  much  above  the  ordinary  level  of  boys 
of  twelve. 

From  this  feeble  commencement,  the  undertaking  seems  to 
have  been  prosecuted  in  a  variety  of  shapes,  not  without  inter- 
ruptions more  or  less,  until  1795,  when  what  may  be  denomi- 
nated the  diary  proper  begins.  For  it  was  then  he  entered 
upon  that  career  of  public  service  which  raises  the  record  above 
the  sphere  of  private  life  and  makes  it  of  historical  interest.  It 
is  out  of  the  materials  furnished  from  nineteen  thick  quarto 
volumes,  closely  written,  that  the  present  publication  is  drawn. 
Of  the  preliminary  and  fragmentary  portion,  only  that  part 
will  be  used  which  is  deemed  necessary  to  a  better  compre- 
hension of  the  remainder. 

The  first  remark,  which  a  perusal  of  these  volumes  suggests, 
relates  to  the  singular  manner  of  prosecuting  his  education.  It 
would  seem  that  after  his  return  to  Paris  he  went  to  school 
there  less  than  six  months.  He  was  then  transferred  to  the 
public  Latin  school  at  Amsterdam,  under  the  arbitrary  manage- 
ment of  which  he  proved  so  restive  that,  four  months  later,  he 
was  removed  to  the  University  of  Leyden,  where  he  remained 
less  than  five  months.  This  comprises  all  the  systematic  in- 
struction he  received  prior  to  his  admission  to  Harvard  College, 
in  the  third  year  of  the  customary  course.  Hence  it  appears 
that  the  whole  period  of  education  at  school  and  college  re- 
ceived by  him,  prior  to  his  entering  upon  his  professional 
studies,  barely  exceeded  three  years.  Yet  the  extent  of  his 
acquisition,  if  measured  by  the  translations  of  the  classics  and 
other  work  left  behind  him,  shows  how  little  he  confined  him- 
self to  school  routine,  and  how  much  he  worked  by  himself. 
Doubtless  he  owed  much  to  the  supervision  of  his  father,  but 
far  more  was  due  to  his  own  indomitable  perseverance.     He 


I2  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS. 

was  eminently  a  self-made  man  in  the  broadest  sense  of  the 
term,  and  not  in  that  in  which  it  is  commonly  used. 

On  the  7th  of  July,  1781,  he,  being  then  close  upon  fourteen 
years  old,  bade  good-bye  forever  to  all  preparatory  schools,  to 
accompany  Mr.  Dana  on  his  mission  to  secure  for  the  still  strug- 
gling government  in  America  the  sympathy  of  Catherine  II. 
He  acted  in  the  Gapacity  of  a  secretary,  as  well  as  of  inter- 
preter, for  which  last  office  his  rapid  acquisition  of  the  French 
language  had  fitted  him  very  well.  The  party  started  from 
Amsterdam  on  the  7th  of  July,  but  it  was  not  until  the  29th 
of  August  that  they  reached  St.  Petersburg, — a  longer  time,  it 
may  be  observed,  than  it  took  the  same  persons  to  cross  the 
Atlantic. 

In  the  Russian  capital  the  youth  remained  fourteen  months. 
The  Empress  Catherine  soon  showed  that  she  had  no  mind  to 
raise  unpleasant  questions  with  Great  Britain;  and  her  scruples 
about  recognizing  the  United  States,  Mr.  Harris,  the  English 
Envoy,  afterwards  Lord  Malmsbury,  exerted  himself  efficiently 
to  confirm.  Hence  it  turned  out  that  the  mission  proved  wholly 
abortive  in  a  public  sense.  But  to  the  young  man  the  time 
seems  not  to  have  been  thrown  away.  Four  little  books  con- 
tain a  record  of  his  reading  of  grave  works  of  history  like 
Hume  and  Robertson,  then  freshly  issued  from  the  press,  of 
his  translations  of  several  of  Cicero's  orations,  and  of  his  large 
transcription  from  the  most  noted  of  the  English  poets,  which 
last  practice  implanted  in  his  breast  a  passion  for  versification 
that  survived  almost  to  his  latest  hour. 

Finding  that  Mr.  Dana  designed  to  remain  another  winter,  he, 
having  nothing  to  do,  decided,  in  the  face  of  an  arctic  climate, 
to  make  his  way  back  to  Paris  alone.  On  the  30th  of  October, 
1782,  he  left  St.  Petersburg  to  go  to  Stockholm,  which  he 
reached  on  the  23d  of  November.  Here  he  spent  five  weeks 
very  pleasantly.  On  the  last  day  of  that  year,  he  proceeded 
alone  to  Copenhagen;  but  the  obstacles  were  such  that  it  took 
him  six  weeks  to  get  there.  After  some  stay  at  that  capital, 
he  resumed  his  route ;  but  such  were  the  obstructions  that  it 
was  not  until  the  20th  of  April,  or  nearly  six  months  from 
the  time  of  starting,  that  he  found  himself  once  more  at  his 


1783.]  BIRTH  AND   EDUCATION.  ^ 

father's  house  at  the  Hague.  He  was  at  this  time  fifteen  years 
old.  A  record  of  the  greater  part  of  this  journey  remains  in  his 
handwriting. 

The  negotiation  of  the  final  treaty  of  peace  between  Great 
Britain  and  the  United  States,  the  preliminaries  of  which  had 
been  already  settled,  was  going  on  at  Paris.  He  accompanied 
his  father  to  that  capital,  was  at  once  enlisted  in  the  service  as 
an  additional  secretary,  and  gave  his  help  to  the  preparation 
of  the  papers  necessary  to  the  completion  of  that  instrument 
which  dispersed  all  possible  doubt  of  the  independence  of  his 
country. 

This  event  seemed  in  America  like  a  lull  of  the  boiling 
waters  of  the  deep  after  a  furious  storm.  The  Continental 
Congress  applied  a  part  of  its  waning  strength  to  the  work  of 
redistributing  duties  among  the  diplomatic  agents  remaining 
abroad.  Meanwhile  most  of  these  were  at  Paris,  awaiting 
orders.  A  residence  at  that  brilliant  capital,  painful  to  John 
Adams  whilst  holding  his  former  equivocal  relations  to  the 
French  court,  now  became  highly  agreeable.  His  satisfaction 
had  been  heightened  by  the  arrival  in  England  of  the  female 
members  of  the  family,  whom  he  had  left  under  such  different 
circumstances,  and  the  son  was  sent  to  meet  and  escort  them 
over.  Greater  rejoicing  could  scarcely  be  than  in  this  happy 
reunion.  The  fearful  struggle  was  over.  Success  had  crowned 
the  painful  labors  of  five  years  of  separation.  And  now  re- 
mained the  comparatively  easy  injunctions,  to  expand  the 
national  reputation  by  securing  for  it  the  recognition  of  the 
other  great  powers  of  the  world. 

To  a  youth  of  sixteen  or  seventeen  a  great  temptation  now 
sprang  up,  to  waste  his  time  in  frivolities  and  dissipation. 
Some  idea  of  the  life  he  led  may  be  gathered  from  the  follow- 
ing extracts  from  his  diary,  which  now  begins  to  spread  more 
into  detail.  Here  is  a  specimen.  In  view  of  the  fearful  changes 
that  followed  not  long  afterwards,  this  narration  retains  even 
now  something  of  its  interest. 

March  25th.  Good  Friday.  Went  in  the  afternoon  to  Long- 
champs  ;    this  is  the  last  day.      Every  year,  the  Wednesday, 


14  MEMOIRS    OF   JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [March, 

Thursday,  and  Friday  of  the  week  preceding  Easter,  which  is 
called  Scmaine  Sainte,  there  is  a  kind  of  procession  in  the  Bois 
de  Boulogne,  and  it  is  called  Longchamps.  There  are  perhaps, 
on  each  of  those  days,  a  thousand  carriages  that  come  out  of 
Paris,  to  go  round  one  of  the  roads  in  the  wood,  one  after 
the  other.  There  are  two  rows  of  carriages ;  one  goes  up  and 
the  other  down,  so  that  the  People  in  every  carriage  can  see  all 
the  others.  Everybody  that  has  got  a  splendid  carriage,  a  fine 
set  of  horses,  or  an  elegant  Mistress,  sends  them  out  on  these 
days  to  make  a  show  at  Longchamps.  As  all  the  Theatres,' 
and  the  greatest  part  of  the  public  amusements,  are  shut  all  this 
week,  the  concourse  is  always  very  considerable;  for  those  that 
cannot  go  there  to  be  seen,  go  to  see,  and,  as  it  commonly 
happens  upon  the  like  occasions,  there  are  always  twenty  to 
see  for  one  there  is  to  be  seen.  It  is  very  genteel,  for  there  are 
always  there  some  of  the  first  people  in  the  kingdom.  The 
hours  are  from  five  to  seven,  by  which  time  very  few  carriages 
remain  there,  for  they  all  go  off  together;  so  that  one  quarter 
of  an  hour  before  the  place  is  entirely  deserted,  the  concourse 
is  the  greatest.  The  origin  of  this  curious  custom  was  this. 
There  is  a  Convent  of  women,  called  Lojigchamps,  somewhere 
near  the  Bois  de  Boulogne,  where  formerly  there  was  some 
very  fine  music  performed  on  these  days,  which  drew  a  vast 
number  of  persons  out  from  Paris  to  hear  it;  but  one  year 
there, was  an  uncommon  concourse,  and  some  disorders  hap- 
pened, which  induced  the  Archbishop  of  Paris  to  forbid  this 
music  on  these  days;  but  the  Public  who  had  commonly  taken 
a  ride  round  part  of  the  wood  after  hearing  the  music,  con- 
tinued taking  the  latter  part  of  the  amusement  when  they  were 
deprived  of  the  first,  and  the  custom  has  been  kept  up  to  this  day. 

After  it  was  over  we  went  and  drank  tea  with  Dr.  Franklin. 
Saw  Mr.  Dalrymple  there. 

26th.  Paris ;  afternoon.  Froulle,1  books  upon  astronomy. 
Went  to  see  Mr.  West  and  Mr.  Waring,  but  neither  was  at 
home.  Spent  part  of  the  evening  with  the  Abbes.2  While  I 
was  there  a  gentleman  came  in,  who  was  a  great  partisan  for 

1  A  bookseller,  whose  shop  the  writer  frequented. 

2  "  Two  Abbes,  De  Chalut  and  Arnoux,  the  former  a  brother  of  the  farmer- 


1785.]  BIRTH  AND   EDUCATION.  :$ 

animal  magnetism,  that  he  very  strenuously  defended.  Speak- 
ing of  Dr.  Franklin,  he  said,  "J'aime  beaucoup  M.  Franklin, 
c'est  un  homme  de  beaucoup  d'esprit  et  de  genie ;  je  suis 
seulement  fache  pour  lui  qu'il  ait  signe  ce  rapport1  des  Com- 
missaires."  He  spoke  this  with  so  much  "  naivete,"  that  I 
could  not  help  smiling.  When  he  went  away,  the  Abbes  told 
me  he  was  a  man  with  50,000  livres  a  year,  of  an  exceedingly 
benevolent  disposition,  and  that  he  does  a  great  deal  of  good. 
A  sensible  man,  but  very  firmly  persuaded  of  the  reality  of 
animal  magnetism.  Mesmer,  the  pretended  discoverer,  has 
certainly  as  yet  behaved  like  a  mountebank,  and  yet  he  has 
persuaded  a  great  number  of  people,  and  some  persons  of  great 
sense  and  learning,  that  he  has  made  an  important  discovery. 
An  extraordinary  system,  a  great  deal  of  mystery,  and  the  art 
of  making  people  pay  a  hundred  louis  d'or  for  a  secret  which 
nobody  receives,  have  persuaded  almost  half  this  kingdom  that 
Mesmer  really  has  the  secret  that  he  pretends  to  have. 

27th.  Sunday.  Mr.  Adams2  dined  with  Mr.  de  St.  Olympe, 
and  spent  the  evening  at  Mr.  Jefferson's. 

At  about  seven  o'clock  in  the  evening,  the  Queen  was 
delivered  of  a  Son,  who  is  Monseigneur  le  Due  de  Normandie. 
This  is  one  of  the  most  important  events  that  can  happen  in 
this  kingdom,  and  every  Frenchman  has  been  expecting  it  as 
if  the  fate  of  his  life  depended  upon  it.  One  would  think  that 
after  having  a  Dauphin  they  would  be  easy  and  quiet;  but,  say 
they,  the  Dauphin  is  young  and  may  die;  and,  tho'  the  King  has 
two  brothers,  one  of  whom  has  several  children,  yet  the  capital 
point  is,  that  the  crown  should  pass  down  eternally  from  Father 
to  Son ;  insomuch  that  they  would  prefer  being  governed  by  a 

general  of  that  name,  and  himself  a  knight  of  Malta,  as  well  as  of  the  Order  of  St. 
Louis,  and  both  of  them  learned  men,  came  early  to  visit  me." — Diary  of  John 
Adams,  19  April,  1778.  Works,  vol.  iii.  p.  135.  This  intimacy  seems  to  have 
been  kept  up  for  several  years. 

1  This  was  an  official  report,  made  by  a  commission  appointed  under  the  authority 
of  the  king  to  examine  into  the  merits  of  Mesmer's  theory  of  animal  magnetism. 
Dr.  Franklin  had  been  solicited  to  act  as  a  member  of  this  body,  and  consented. 
The  conclusion  to  which  they  came,  with  his  full  concurrence,  was  that  it  was  an 
imposture. 

2  The  father  of  the  writer. 


l6  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [March, 

fool  or  a  tyrant  that  should  be  the  son  of  his  predecessor,  than 
by  a  sensible  and  good  prince  who  should  only  be  a  brother. 
The  cannon  announced  to  us  the  birth  of  the  Prince.  The 
Queen  was  taken  ill  only  an  hour  before  her  delivery,  a  circum- 
stance which  must  have  been  very  agreeable  to  her ;  for,  a  few 
minutes  before  she  is  delivered,  the  doors  of  her  apartments  are 
always  opened,  and  everybody  that  pleases  is  admitted  to  see 
the  child  come  into  the  world,  and  if  there  had  been  time 
enough,  all  Paris  would  have  gone  pour  voir  accoitchcr  la  Rcine. 
The  name  of  the  young  Duke  of  Normandy  is  not  yet  known. 

28th.  Snow  in  the  morning  sufficient  to  cover  the  ground. 
Dined  at  the  Marquis  de  la  Fayette's.  When  I  arrived  there  the 
Marquis  was  not  returned  from  Versailles,  where  he  went  last 
evening  immediately  upon  hearing  of  the  Queen's  delivery,  but 
could  not  get  there  soon  enough  to  be  present  at  the  Christening. 
He  told  me  a  curious  circumstance.  The  Queen  was  so  large  that 
it  was  suspected  she  might  have  twins,  and  M.  de  Calonnc,  the 
controller  general,  had  prepared  two  blue  ribands  in  case  two 
Princes  should  be  born ;  for  the  King's  children  must  be  deco- 
rated with  these  badges  immediately  after  they  come  into  the 
world.  The  Count  and  Chevalier  de  la  Luzerne  dined  with 
us.  After  dinner  I  went  with  Mr.  West  to  see  Mr.  and  Mrs. 
Rucker,  and  afterwards  we  took  a  walk  together  in  the  Palais 
Royal.  It  is  curious  to  hear  the  sagacious  reflections  and 
remarks  upon  the  event  of  yesterday,  made  by  the  badauds, 
and  it  is  pleasing  to  see  how  joyful,  how  contented  they  look. 
All  take  the  title  given  to  the  Prince  as  no  doubtless  presage 
of  his  future  conquests,  and  are  firmly  persuaded  that  it  was 
expressly  given  to  him  that  England  may  be  a  second  time 
subdued  by  a  Duke  of  Normandy.  If  they  dared,  they  would 
mention  another  point,  in  which  the  pretended  conqueror  may 
resemble  the  real  one.  The  Palais  Royal,  the  Spanish  Ambas- 
sador's hotel,  the  Hotel  des  Invalides,  the  Ecole  Militaire,  and 
several  other  buildings  were  illuminated  in  the  evening. 

29th.  Dr.  Franklin's  early  in  the  morning.  Col.  Humphreys 
breakfasted  with  us,  and  went  with  Mr.  Adams  to  Versailles, 
where  they  were  presented,  for  the  first  time,  to  the  new-born 
Prince,  who  received  them   in  bed ;  there  were  half  a  dozen 


1785.]  BIRTH  AND   EDUCATION.  xy 

ladies  in  the  chamber.  There  were  three  beds  joining  each 
other,  and  in  the  middle  one  laid  M.  le  Due,  probably  that  in 
the  night  one  of  the  Ladies  sleeps  in  each  of  the  other  beds,  to 
prevent  Monseigneur  from  falling  out.  The  King  was  exceed- 
ingly gay  and  happy,  and  his  brothers  appeared  so  too. 

30th.  Mr.  Adams  dined  at  the  Spanish  Ambassador's,  Count 
d'Aranda,  an  old  man  70  years  of  age,  who  married  last  year 
a  young  woman  of  20 — peace  be  with  him  ! 

31st.  Madame  de  la  Fayette  sent  a  card  to  offer  us  places  for 
the  Te  Deum,  which  is  to  be  sung  to-morrow  at  Notre  Dame, 
when  the  King  is  to  be  present.  Mr.  A.  dined  at  Count  Sars- 
field's. 

April  1st.  The  Marchioness  appointed  two  o'clock  for  us  to 
be  at  her  Hotel.  We  dined  at  half  after  twelve,  and  were  in  the 
Rue  de  Bourbon  at  two,  but  it  was  too  early.  Mrs.  Rucker,  Mr. 
Jefferson,  Col.  Humphreys,  Mr.  Williams,  Mr.  West,  went  all 
with  us.  At  about  half-past  three  we  went  from  the  Marquis's 
Hotel,  and  by  the  time  we  got  to  the  Pont  Royal,  both  sides  of 
the  quay  were  so  amazingly  crowded  with  people,  that  there  was 
but  just  space  sufficient  for  the  carriages  to  pass  along ;  and 
had  there  not  been  guards  placed  on  both  sides,  at  a  distance 
not  greater  than  ten  yards  from  one  another,  there  would  have 
been  no  passage  at  all  for  coaches ;  for,  as  it  was,  the  troops 
had  the  utmost  difficulty'  to  restrain  the  mob.  We  passed 
along  on  the  Quai  des  Augustins,  till  we  came  to  the  Pont  Neitf, 
went  over  part  of  that,  turned  down  into  the  Isle  de  Notre  Dame, 
and  then  proceeded  in  a  direct  line  to  the  Church.  We  were 
placed  in  a  gallery  that  commanded  the  choir,  and  were  in  as 
good  a  place  as  any  in  the  Church,  which  we  owed  to  the 
politeness  of  Mme.  de  la  Fayette. 

In  the  middle  of  the  choir  below  us,  were  several  rows  of 
benches,  upon  which  the  King's  train  sate  when  he  came  ; 
while  he  and  his  two  brothers  were  before  all  the  benches,  and 
directly  opposite  the  Altar.  When  we  arrived,  we  found  the 
Parliament  sitting  in  the  choir  on  the  right  side,  in  scarlet 
and  black  robes ;  the  Chambre  des  Comptes  were  seated  in  the 
same  manner  on  the  left  side,  in  black  and  white  robes.  The 
Foreign  Ambassadors  were  in  an  enclosure  at  the  right  of  the 

VOL.    I. 2 


ig  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [April, 

Altar,  and  between  them  and  the  Parliament  was  a  small 
Throne,  upon  which  the  Archbishop  of  Paris  officiated.  Soon 
after  we  got  there,  the  Bishops  arrived,  two  by  two.  There 
were  about  twenty-five  of  them  ;  they  had  black  robes  on,  with 
a  white  muslin  skirt  which  descended  from  the  waist  down  two- 
thirds  of  the  way  to  the  ground,  and  a  purple  kind  of  a  mantle 
over  their  shoulders.  The  Archbishop  of  Paris  had  a  mitre  upon 
his  head.  When  the  King  came,  he  went  out  to  the  door  of  the 
Church  to  receive  him,  and  as  soon  as  his  Majesty  had  got  to 
his  place,  and  fallen  upon  his  knees,  they  began  to  sing  the  Te 
Deum,  which  lasted  about  half  an  hour,  and  in  which  we  heard 
some  exceedingly  fine  music.  The  voices  were  admirable. 
The  Archbishop  of  Paris  sang  for  about  a  couple  of  minutes 
near  the  end,  that  it  might  be  said  he  had  sung  the  Te  Deum — 
his  voice  seems  to  be  much  broken.  As  soon  as  the  singing 
was  over,  the  King  and  the  Court  immediately  went  away. 

What  a  charming  sight — an  absolute  King  of  one  of  the  most 
powerful  Empires  on  earth,  and  perhaps  a  thousand  of  the  first 
personages  in  that  Empire,  adoring  the  Divinity  who  created 
them,  and  acknowledging  that  he  can  in  a  moment  reduce  them 
to  the  dust  from  which  they  sprung !  Could  we  suppose  their 
devotion  real  and  sincere,  no  other  proof  would  be  necessary 
to  demonstrate  the  falsity  of  the  supposition  that  religion  is 
going  to  decay.  But  oh  !  if  the  hearts  of  all  those  persons  could 
have  been  sounded,  and  everything  that  was  lurking  there, 
while  the  exterior  appeared  offering  up  prayers  to  God,  could 
be  produced  to  light,  I  fear  the  rigid  moralist  would  have  a 
confirmation  of  his  fears.  The  reflection  of  the  Chevalier  de 
Gouvion  shows  he  was  of  this  opinion.  I  don't  knotv,  said  he, 
whether  all  this  will  be  very  acceptable  to  God  AlmigJity ;  but  very 
few  persons  came  here  for  him.  I  was  however  vastly  pleased 
with  the  Ceremony,  and  should  have  been  so,  if  it  was  only  that 
it  gave  me  an  opportunity  to  see  so  numerous  an  assembly  of 
men  of  the  first  rank  in  the  Kingdom.  The  King  and  all  the 
Court  were  dressed  in  clothes  vastly  rich,  but  in  no  peculiar 
form.  After  the  Ceremony  was  finished,  we  had  to  wait  a  long 
time  for  our  carriages,  and  could  not  at  last  get  them  all;  so 
that  we  were  obliged  to  go  away  five  in  one  chariot.     We  re- 


1785.]  BIRTH  AND   EDUCATION.  jo 

turned  to  the  Hotel  de  la  Fayette,  and  drank  tea  with  Madame. 
A  number  of  houses  were  considerably  illuminated,  but  nothing 
to  be  compared  to  what  there  was  six  years  ago,  when  the 
King's  first  child  was  born,  although  it  was  only  a  Princess. 

We  returned  home  at  about  nine,  and  were  more  than  half 
an  hour  getting  over  the  Pont  Neuf,  such  was  the  crowd  of 
carriages ;  in  the  passage  of  the  Corns  la  Rciue  we  saw  a  num- 
ber of  fellows  throwing  up  the  sand,  to  see  if  there  were  no  12 
sols  pieces  remaining;  for  upon  these  occasions,  when  the  mob 
cry  out  Vive  Ic  Rot,  he  throws  out  of  his  Coach  handfuls  of 
small  pieces  of  money,  and  is  thereby  the  cause  of  many  a 
squabble,  and  some  broken  heads,  though  the  Police  is  so  at- 
tentive that  few  such  misfortunes  happen.  The  title  of  Duke 
of  Normandy  has  not  been  borne  by  any  person  for  more  than 
three  hundred  years,  until  the  birth  of  the  young  Prince. 

All  this  was  interesting  for  a  young  man  to  witness.  Yet  he 
was  not  unmindful  of  the  duty  calling  him  back.  The  state  of 
his  mind  is  best  exposed  in  an  extract  from  a  letter  addressed,  the 
year  before,  to  a  kinsman  of  the  same  age,  and  contemplating 
the  same  career,  in  America: 

"Auteuil,  14  December,  1784. 

"  You  can  imagine  what  an  addition  has  been  made  to  my 
happiness  by  the  arrival  of  a  kind  and  tender  mother,  and  of  a 
Sister  who  fulfills  my  most  sanguine  expectations ;  yet  the  de- 
sire of  returning  to  America  still  possesses  me.  My  country 
has  over  me  an  attractive  power  which  I  do  not  understand. 
Indeed,  I  believe  that  all  men  have  an  attachment  to  their 
country  distinct  from  all  other  attachments.  It  is  imputed  to 
our  fondness  for  our  friends  and  relations  ;  yet  I  am  apt  to  think 
I  should  still  desire  to  go  home,  were  all  my  friends  and  rela- 
tions here.  I  cannot  be  influenced  by  my  fondness  for  the 
customs  and  habits  of  my  country,  for  I  was  so  young  when 
I  came  to  Europe,  and  have  been  here  so  long,  that  I  must 
necessarily  have  adopted  many  of  their  customs. 

"  But  I  have  another  reason  for  desiring  to  return  to  my  native 
country.  I  have  been  such  a  wandering  being  these  seven 
years,  that  I  have  never  performed  any  regular  course  of  studies, 


20  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN   QUINCY  ADAMS.  [April, 

and  am  deficient  on  many  subjects.  I  wish  very  much  to  have 
a  degree  at  Harvard,  and  shall  probably  not  be  able  to  obtain 
it  unless  I  spend  at  least  one  year  there.  I  therefore  have 
serious  thoughts  of  going  in  the  Spring  so  as  to  arrive  in  May 
or  June,  stay  a  twelvemonth  at  Mr.  Shaw's  (who  I  hope  would 
be  as  kind  to  me  as  he  has  been  to  you,  and  is  to  my  Brothers) 
and  then  enter  College  for  the  last  year,  so  as  to  come  out  with 
you.  I  imagine  that  with  steady  application  I  might  in  one 
year  acquire  sufficient  proficiency  in  all  the  sciences  necessary 
for  entering  the  last  year.  However,  I  know  not  whether  I 
shall  do  any  of  these  things,  for  it  is  still  very  uncertain  whether 
I  shall  return  next  Spring  or  not." 

The  hesitation  is  very  apparent  in  this  passage.  Not  long 
afterwards,  intelligence  came  from  home  that  John  Adams  had 
been  designated  by  Congress  to  stand  as  the  first  diplomatic 
envoy  of  the  emancipated  nation,  and  claim  recognition  as 
such  from  the  lips  of  an  offended  and  mortified  sovereign.  It 
would  doubtless  have  been  very  pleasant  to  the  son  to  accom- 
pany the  family  to  Great  Britain,  and  to  taste  the  first  fruits  of 
the  national  independence  in  its  great  capital.  But  the  event 
only  had  the  effect  to  determine  his  course  the  other  way. 

He  gives  his  reasons  in  a  passage  of  his  diary,  which  seems 
to  find  its  proper  place  here  : 

26th.  I  went  in  the  morning  to  the  Swedish  Ambassador's 
Hotel,  to  go  with  Mr.  d'Asp  and  see  the  Abbe  Grenet;  but  I 
was  too  late,  and  Mr.  d'Asp  was  gone  out.  I  went  to  see  Mr. 
Jarvis,  and  afterwards  Count  d'Ouradou,  at  the  Hotel  de  Nas- 
sau, Rue  de  la  Harpe.  We  agreed  to  go  together  to  L'Orient. 
Went  to  see  West,  but  did  not  find  him  at  home.  Walked  in 
the  Palais  Royal,  where  I  met  Mr.  Williams;  and  as  I  had  sent 
our  carriage  back  to  Auteuil,  and  it  was  too  late  to  walk  home, 
I  went  with  him  and  dined  at  Mr.  Jefferson's.  A  few  minutes 
after  dinner,  some  letters  came  in  from  America,  and  I  was  in- 
formed by  Mr.  J.  that  the  Packet,  "  Le  Courier  d^e  L'Orient," 
which  sailed  from  New  York  the  23rd  of  March,  is  arrived. 
Mr.  J.  and  Col.  Humphreys  had  letters  from  Genl.  Washing- 


1785.]  BIRTH  AND   EDUCATION.  21 

ton  ;  and  a  letter  from  Mr.  Gerry  of  Feb.  25th  says,  Mr.  Adams 
is  appointed  Minister  to  the  Court  of  London. 

I  believe  he  will  promote  the  interests  of  the  United  States, 
as  much  as  any  man,  but  I  fear  his  duty  will  induce  him  to 
make  exertions  which  may  be  detrimental  to  his  health.  I 
wish  however  it  may  be  otherwise.  Were  I  now  to  go  with 
him,  probably  my  immediate  satisfaction  might  be  greater  than 
it  will  be  in  returning  to  America.  After  having  been  travel- 
ling for  these  seven  years  almost  all  over  Europe,  and  having 
been  in  the  world,  and  among  company,  for  three;  to  return  to 
spend  one  or  two  years  in  the  pale  of  a  College,  subjected  to 
all  the  rules  which  I  have  so  long  been  freed  from  ;  then  to 
plunge  into  the  dry  and  tedious  study  of  the  Law  for  three 
years  ;  and  afterwards  not  expect  (however  good  an  opinion  I 
may  have  of  myself)  to  bring  myself  into  notice  under  three 
or  four  years  more;  if  ever!  It  is  really  a  prospect  somewhat 
discouraging  for  a  youth  of  my  ambition  (for  I  have  ambition, 
though  I  hope  its  object  is  laudable).     But  still 

"  Oh  !  how  wretched 
Is  that  poor  Man,  that  hangs  on  Princes'  favors" 

or  on  those  of  anybody  else.  I  am  determined  that  so  long 
as  I  shall  be  able  to  get  my  own  living  in  an  honorable  man- 
ner, I  will  depend  upon  no  one.  My  Father  has  been  so  much 
taken  up  all  his  lifetime  with  the  interests  of  the  public,  that 
his  own  fortune  has  suffered  by  it ;  so  that  his  children  will 
have  to  provide  for  themselves,  which  I  shall  never  be  able 
to  do,  if  I  loiter  away  my  precious  time  in  Europe  and  shun 
going  home  until  I  am  forced  to  it.  With  an  ordinary  share 
of  common  sense,  which  I  hope  I  enjoy,  at  least  in  America  I 
can  live  iiidependcnt  and  free  ;  and  rather  than  live  otherwise  I 
would  wish  to  die  before  the  time  when  I  shall  be  left  at  my 
own  discretion.  I  have  before  me  a  striking  example  of  the 
distressing  and  humiliating  situation  a  person  is  reduced  to  by 
adopting  a  different  line  of  conduct,  and  I  am  determined  not 
to  fall  into  the  same  error. 

This  decision  to  go  home  made  the  turning-point  of  his  life. 


22  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [17S7. 

An  opposite  one  might  have  left  him  to  share  the  fate  of  Wil- 
liam Temple  Franklin,  a  hybrid  citizen  claiming  two  countries 
and  identified  with  neither.  As  it  was,  he  obeyed  his  duty,  and 
laid  the  foundation  of  that  spirit  of  rigid  personal  independ- 
ence which  constituted  one  of  the  most  marked  features  of  his 
character. 

After  a  period  of  preliminary  studies,  it  was  found  that  he 
had,  in  spite  of  all  obstacles,  made  such  good  use  of  the  frag- 
ments of  his  time  that  he  could  be  readily  admitted  to  advanced 
standing  in  the  class  then  in  its  third  year  of  the  prescribed 
course  at  Cambridge.  As  a  consequence,  he  resided  at  that 
place  something  less  than  two  years,  and  graduated  with  honor 
in  1787.  The  exercise  he  was  called  to  perform  at  the  annual 
commencement,  the  second  in  the  scale  of  rank,  was  an  oration 
upon  "  the  importance  and  necessity  of  public  faith  to  the  well- 
being  of  a  government,"  a  topic  of  deep  moment  to  the  country 
at  that  particular  crisis,  when  the  national  character  was  just  in 
the  process  of  emerging  from  the  clouds  in  which  it  had  been 
enveloped  by  the  Revolutionary  struggle.  This  youthful  essay 
seems  to  have  produced  an  impression  upon  its  hearers  strong 
enough  to  induce  a  person  then  so  esteemed  as  Dr.  Jeremy 
Belknap  to  apply  for  a  copy  for  insertion  in  the  "Columbian 
Magazine,"  of  Philadelphia.  Not  many  youths  have  been  so 
honored  at  that  stage  of  their  career.  But  a  still  more  excep- 
tional distinction  awaited  it.  A  few  days  afterwards  a  sharp 
criticism  upon  it  appeared  in  one  of  the  Boston  newspapers. 
This  event  was  more  significant  than  the  other.  It  portended 
the  rise  of  a  power  to  be  developed  throughout  life  much  more 
by  the  opposition  it  roused  than  by  the  favor  it  conciliated.  In 
political  history  it  frequently  happens  that  antagonism  helps  to 
bring  to  view  the  high  qualities  of  a  statesman  much  more  than 
the  most  zealous  friendship.  In  few  instances  has  this  observa- 
tion been  oftener  verified  than  in  that  of  Mr.  Adams. 

The  next  step  to  be  taken  was  to  choose  a  profession.  In 
this  there  seems  to  have  been  no  hesitation.  He  applied  him- 
self to  the  law  under  the  guidance  of  Theophilus  Parsons,  then 
advancing  in  the  course  which  ultimately  brought  him  to  the 
highest  seat  in  the  tribunals  of  Massachusetts.     He  resided  at 


179°-].  BIRTH  AND   EDUCATION.  23 

this  time  at  Newburyport ;  and  there  Mr.  Adams  took  up  his 
abode  for  the  three  years  of  study  required  for  admission 
to  practice.  The  diary  which  he  continued  to  keep  gives  a 
curious  and  not  unattractive  picture  of  the  social  relations 
prevailing  in  a  small  New  England  town  at  that  period,  but  it 
does  not  seem  to  retain  interest  enough  to  warrant  the  occu- 
pation of  space  in  this  publication.  It  may  be  enough  to 
note  that  on  the  15th  of  July,  1790,  he,  being  then  twenty- 
three  years  of  age,  was  formally  admitted  to  practice  as  a  law- 
yer in  the  courts  of  Essex  County.  '  On  the  9th  of  August 
following,  he  removed  to  Boston  and  established  himself  per- 
manently there.  He  was  now  fairly  before  the  world,  laboring 
to  advance  his  fortunes  by  his  own  exertions.  His  father  had 
been  elected  the  first  Vice-President  under  the  new  form  of 
government  just  adopted  by  the  people  of  the  United  States, 
which  necessarily  kept  him  much  of  the  time  at  New  York  or 
Philadelphia.  The  son  felt  almost  as  much  alone  as  if  he  had 
been  an  utter  stranger.  One  consequence  of  this  isolation  was 
that  the  diary  soon  began  to  shrink,  and  for  a  time  it  dis- 
appears altogether. 

Waiting  for  employment  at  the  start  is  perhaps  the  most 
anxious  period  of  life  for  most  men.  Two  requisites  for  suc- 
cess are  indispensable,  neither  of  which  can  be  confidently 
counted  on  prior  to  experiment.  The  first  is  opportunity.  The 
second,  aptitude  to  turn  it  to  the  best  account.  The  lives  of 
eminent  lawyers  in  Great  Britain  and  this  country  are  filled  with 
examples  as  well  of  protracted  waiting  as  of  the  happy  use  ulti- 
mately made  of  the  chance  which  opened  a  career.  On  the 
other  hand,  there  is  no  record  of  the  fate  of  probably  much  the 
greater  number,  who  either  waited  in  vain,  or,  if  reaching  an 
opportunity,  failed  to  use  it,  and  dropped  at  once  into  obscurity. 
Mr.  Adams  was  not  blessed  with  that  sanguine  temperament 
which  goes  so  far  to  soften  the  rough  or  embellish  the  smooth 
paths  all  human  beings  are  called  to  tread.  He  felt  the  neces- 
sity he  was  under  to  rely  mainly  on  his  own  efforts  for  success. 
For  his  parents,  though  possessed  of  a  moderate  independence, 
were  not  wealthy,  and  they  had  several  children.  He  was  like- 
wise sensible  of  the  fact  that  his  mode  of  life  and  education 


24  ME  MO  IKS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [1791. 

abroad  during  the  early  years  when  youthful  intimacies  take 
their  shape,  had  isolated  him  in  a  degree  from  the  sympathy 
of  his  contemporaries.  His  relations  were  to  be  made  anew, 
almost  as  if  he  were  a  stranger.  Such  was  the  state  of  mind 
at  the  outset  when  business  appeared  to  him  slow  in  coming. 
At  the  same  time,  it  must  be  said  that  his  was  not  a  nature  to 
lose  his  leisure  in  idleness.  His  training,  self-imposed  from  his 
earliest  youth,  made  labor  of  some  kind  indispensable  to  his  com- 
fort. Very  naturally  his  mind  turned  to  the  consideration  of  the 
public  events  immediately  under  his  observation.  They  were  of 
a  nature  too  interesting  not  to  fasten  his  attention  at  once. 

The  great  struggle  for  independence  had  passed  away. 
Next  had  come  the  labor  of  organizing  a  system  of  govern- 
ment, which  had  terminated  with  equal  success.  Then  followed 
the  process  of  establishing  a  policy,  in  regard  as  well  to  the 
internal  concerns  of  the  country  as  to  its  relations  with  foreign 
states.  The  ordinary  method  of  discussing  the  various  impor- 
tant topics  growing  out  of  this  labor  of  instauration  had  been 
carried  on  through  the  public  newspapers  issued  in  some  of  the 
chief  towns.  In  this  way  many  strong  minds  were  enlisted  in 
the  treatment  of  the  critical  questions  agitating  the  popular 
mind.  Hence  sprang  the  papers  by  Hamilton,  Madison,  and 
Jay,  which  contributed  so  much  to  the  final  acceptance  of  the 
federal  Constitution,  afterwards  collected  into  a  volume,  esteemed 
even  now  as  the  leading  authority  for  the  construction  of  the 
terms  of  that  instrument.  Hence  came  likewise  numbers  of 
similar  contributions  from  various  sources,  touching  the  sec- 
ondary questions  ever  springing  out  of  the  novel  experiment. 
It  is  not  too  much  to  say  of  these  papers  that  they  form  a 
body  of  contemporaneous  exposition  of  the  nature  and  policy 
of  the  government  at  the  outset  of  its  career,  which  will  become 
of  more  and  more  interest  to  the  philosophical  historian  as 
time  goes  on. 

The  period  of  leisure  conceded  to  Mr.  Adams  whilst  waiting 
for  professional  employment  was  one  during  which  a  great 
change  was  passing  over  the  civilized  world.  The  memorable 
eruption  in  France  had  shaken  all  the  thrones  in  Europe. 
Men  had  taken  everywhere  to   the  examination  of  the  foun- 


1 79i]  BIRTH  AND  EDUCATION.  25 

dations  of  human  government.  In  Great  Britain,  Edmund 
Burke  had  thrown  himself  in  the  van,  with  his  accustomed 
power,  by  his  publication  of  the  "  Thoughts  on  the  French 
Revolution,"  to  which  Thomas  Paine  had  not  been  slow  to  retort 
in  his  essay  on  "The  Rights  of  Man."  On  the  merits  of  the 
questions  thus  presented  people  divided  everywhere,  and  no- 
where more  earnestly  than  in  America.  No  sooner  did  Paine's 
production  find  its  way  there  than  it  was  reprinted  in  Phila- 
delphia, under  the  auspices,  if  not  at  the  instigation,  of  Mr. 
Jefferson,  who  hailed  it  as  an  important  instrument  with  which 
to  counteract  what  were  then  believed  by  many  to  be  danger- 
ous tendencies  towards  monarchical  institutions.  The  person 
aimed  at  as  showing  the  strongest  leaning  that  way  was  John 
Adams,  who,  in  certain  papers  making  their  appearance  in  the 
customary  channels,  was  engaged  in  philosophically  analyzing 
the  antiquated  History  of  the  Civil  Wars  of  France,  by  Davila. 
Stimulated  perhaps  by  this  conflict  of  authority,  his  son  pre- 
pared for  a  Boston  newspaper,  in  his  turn,  a  series  of  strictures 
on  the  pamphlet  of  Paine,  which  appeared  in  due  course  under 
the  signature  of  Publicola.  This  was  in  1791,  when  he  was  in 
his  twenty-fourth  year.  Perhaps  the  strongly  excited  passions 
of  the  hour,  the  offspring  of  the  upheaval  of  such  deep  social 
foundations,  or  else  the  suspicion  that  these  papers  were  sub- 
stantially prompted  by  the  father,  contributed  to  the  result,  but 
the  fact  is  beyond  doubt  that  they  at  once  attracted  great 
attention,  not  less  in  Europe  than  in  America.  They  were  re- 
printed in  the  papers  of  New  York  and  Philadelphia,  were  gen- 
erally read,  and  elicited  numerous  replies.  If  Mr.  Jefferson's  tes- 
timony may  be  relied  upon,  it  was  Publicola  that  forced  Paine's 
pamphlet  into  notice,  even  though  the  latter  had  the  great 
advantage  of  his  own  prefatory  endorsement  to  recommend  it. 
Be  this  as  it  may,  the  reputation  of  Publicola  spread  far  beyond 
the  confines  of  the  United  States.  No  sooner  did  the  papers 
arrive  in  England  than  they  were  collected  and  published  in 
London  by  Stockdale,  who  erroneously  ascribed  them  to  his 
father.  But  it  was  not  there  only  that  they  were  issued.  An- 
other edition,  without  the  name  of  John  Adams,  was  printed  and 
published  at  Glasgow,  in  Scotland,  and  still  a  third  at  Dublin, 


26  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [1791. 

in  Ireland,  each  differing  materially  from  the  other.  This  fact, 
never  known  to  the  author  himself,  was  only  discovered  by  the 
writer,  who  accidentally  met  with  copies  of  each  edition  during 
his  residence  in  Great  Britain,  more  than  seventy  years  after- 
wards. 

Paine's  production  had  made  so  strong  an  impression  upon 
the  popular  mind  in  that  country  that  the  government  deemed 
it  a  proper  subject  for  prosecution  as  a  libel.  The  case  was 
brought  up  for  trial  on  the  18th  of  December,  1792,  before 
Lord  Kenyon. 

It  was  upon  this  occasion  that  the  Attorney-General,  in  open- 
ing the  case,  had  recourse  to  this  publication,  written,  as  he 
said,  "by  an  American  gentleman  of  the  name  of  Adams,"  and 
read  from  it  several  passages  pronounced  by  him  to  be  complete 
answers  to  the  arguments  of  Paine.  It  is  told  of  Erskine,  at 
that  time  engaged  in  the  defence,  that  he  at  once  retorted, 
"  How  much  better  would  it  have  been  for  the  government  to 
follow  Mr.  Adams's  example,  and,  instead  of  prosecuting  Paine, 
to  refute  him  !" 

Neither  was  the  sensation  made  by  this  pamphlet  limited 
to  Great  Britain.  Its  reputation  spread  to  France,  and  elicited 
there  a  careful,  well-written  answer  in  the  forfn  of  a  pamphlet, 
issued  at  Paris,  entitled  "  Essai  sur  la  Constitution  Francaise." 
How  far  Paine  himself  may  have  had  any  share  in  this  paper 
there  are  no  means  of  knowing,  beyond  the  internal  evidence, 
which  would  rather  indicate  a  higher  grade  of  scholarship. 

These  papers,  eleven  in  number,  are  found  in  the  files  of  the 
Boston  "Centinel"  for  the  months  of  June  and  July,  1791.  The 
ability  displayed  in  them  was  so  marked  that  the  authorship 
was  generally  imputed  to  his  father,  then  Vice-President  of  the 
United  States.  So  strong  was  this  impression  everywhere  that 
the  true  author  appears  to  have  felt  it  his  duty  to  introduce 
into  the  tenth  number  a  formal  contradiction  of  the  story.  At 
this  day,  no  one  who  would  take  the  trouble  to  compare  the 
style  of  the  two  writers  could  fail  to  see  the  truth.  No  doubt, 
the  popular  error  contributed  somewhat  to  extend  the  circula- 
tion of  the  production  ;  yet,  making  every  allowance  possible 
for  this  agency,  it  cannot  be  doubted  that  its  intrinsic  force, 


I793-]  BIRTH  AND  EDUCATION.  2J 

combining  with  the  excitement  of  the  time,  was  the  real  cause 
of  its  extraordinary  success. 

But  though  this  first  effort  may  be  said  to  have  established 
the  writer's  reputation  for  abilities,  it  affected  his  position  only 
in  so  far  as  it  might  gradually  attract  attention  to  him  in  his 
profession.  It  was  another  attempt  of  the  same  kind  which 
gave  a  new  turn  to  the  course  of  his  life.  This  happened  two 
years  later,  when  the  mission  of  Mr.  Genest,  as  the  envoy  of  the 
new  French  republic,  stirred  the  whole  country,  as  it  involved 
the  question  of  the  policy  proper  for  the  government  to  adopt 
towards  that  power.  In  the  cabinet  of  Washington,  opinions 
conflicted  just  as  they  did  among  the  people  at  large.  Ques- 
tions arose  upon  the  reception  of  Mr.  Genest,  upon  the  effect 
of  the  Revolution  on  the  guarantees  in  the  treaty  of  1778 
with  that  country,  and  upon  the  adoption  of  an  absolutely 
neutral  policy,  which  opened  an  ample  field  for  agitation  in  the 
newspapers.  Mr.  Adams  entered  upon  it  first,  by  writing  three 
papers  for  the  Boston  "Centinel,"  under  the  signature  of  Mar- 
cellus.  These  were  followed  by  another  series,  under  the  signa- 
ture of  Columbus,  severely  reflecting  on  the  intemperate  course 
pursued  by  Mr.  Genest,  which,  being  copied  in  the  newspapers 
of  the  chief  towns,  attracted  general  attention  and  elicited  many 
replies.  One  of  these  antagonists  was  James  Sullivan,  then 
Attorney-General,  and  afterwards  Governor,  of  Massachusetts, 
who  took  the  field  in  the  columns  of  the  Boston  "  Chronicle," 
the  organ  of  the  opposite  class  of  opinion,  under  the  signature 
of  Americanus.  Mr.  Adams,  in  his  turn,  retorted  with  ad- 
ditional papers,  under  the  signature  of  Barnevelt,  which  he 
succeeded  in  getting  inserted  in  the  very  same  journal,  an  un- 
usual courtesy  in  that  day  from  partisan  papers  in  America. 

This  discussion  placed  Mr.  Adams  indisputably  in  the  front 
rank  of  the  controversial  writers  of  his  time.  It  displays  all 
the  characteristic  touches  which  mark  his  later  career,  as  well 
in  their  merits  as  in  their  defects  ;  in  abundance  of  knowledge, 
closeness  of  reasoning,  and  effective  retort,  as  well  as  in  that 
superabounding  force  of  invective  which  sometimes  presses  an 
advantage  perhaps  beyond  the  limits  of  legitimate  pursuit.  It 
is  much  to  the  honor  of  Mr.  Sullivan  that  so  far  from  taking 


28  MEMOIRS    OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [1794. 

offence  at  the  tartness  of  an  antagonist  so  much  his  junior,  he 
became  so  impressed  by  his  ability  as  soon  after  to  secure  his 
services  as  a  coadjutor  in  important  cases  in  which  he  was 
himself  engaged. 

This  controversy  attracted  much  attention  in  the  principal 
cities  of  the  continent,  and  drew  forth  many  comments.  It 
fell  under  the  eye  of  Washington,  then  President  of  the  new 
government,  and  anxiously  considering  the  very  same  class  of 
questions  in  a  cabinet  almost  equally  divided  in  opinion.  He 
seems  to  have  been  impressed  by  this  proof  of  Mr.  Adams's 
powers  to  such  an  extent  as  at  once  to  mark  him  out  for  the 
public  service  at  an  early  opportunity.  It  would  seem  that  he 
first  contemplated  nominating  him  as  District  Attorney  for  the 
United  States  in  New  England.  This  project  was  laid  aside; 
but  four  months  later  he  determined  upon  placing  him  in  the 
more  congenial  line  of  the  foreign  service.  His  father,  still 
serving  as  Vice-President  at  Philadelphia,  knew  nothing  of  this 
decision  until  notified  of  it  by  the  Secretary  of  State,  three  days 
before  the  nomination  was  sent  to  the  Senate  over  which  he 
was  presiding.  The  executive  records  of  that  body  show  that 
on  the  29th  of  May,  1794,  a  message  was  received  from  the 
President,  of  which  the  first  paragraph  is  in  the  following  words : 

"I  nominate  John  Quincy  Adams,  of  Massachusetts,  to  be 
Minister  Resident  of  the  United  States  of  America  to  their 
High  Mightinesses  the  States  General  of  the  United  States." 

This  nomination  was  confirmed  the  next  day  without  dissent. 

This  account  of  Mr.  Adams's  youth,  drawn  from  his  own 
papers,  is  now  brought  down  to  the  moment  of  his  entry  upon 
a  public  career.  With  very  brief  intervals,  this  was  all  of  abso- 
lute private  life  he  ever  had  an  opportunity  to  enjoy.  From 
this  date  his  own  record  will  come  in  to  dispense  with  a  neces- 
sity of  further  narrative.  In  publication  nothing  is  left  but  the 
task  of  selection  from  superabundant  materials,  a  task  not  un- 
attended with  difficulty.  Although  there  is  not  a  single  line 
of  the  diary  which,  merely  for  the  writer's  sake,  his  best  friend 
would  wish  to  blot,  there  is  naturally  much  which,  for  second- 
ary reasons,  he  would  scarcely  care  to  make  public.  Much 
space  is  filled  with  ordinary  details  of  no  interest  to  later  times, 


1794]  BIRTH  AND   EDUCATION. 


29 


much  in  repetition  of  substantially  similar  ideas.  The  aim  of 
the  editor  has  been  to  unite,  so  far  as  possible,  two  distinct 
objects.  The  first,  to  present  such  portions  as  tend  more 
directly  to  illustrate  the  personal  character  of  the  man,  the 
nature  of  his  mind  and  heart,  as  well  as  his  ruling  principles 
and  passions;  the  second,  to  elucidate  the  history  of  important 
events  with  which  he  was  more  or  less  associated,  or  that  fell 
under  his  observation.  In  connection  with  the  first  object,  some 
criticism  upon  books  read,  and  especially  on  religious  topics, 
always  more  or  less  occupying  his  mind,  has  been  admitted, 
which  may  seem  to  many  readers  rather  tedious  speculation. 
So,  in  dealing  with  the  second,  some  space  has  been  taken  up 
in  the  exposition  of  minute  details  possibly  tedious  to  modern 
impatience.  All  that  can  be  said  in  excuse  is,  that  nobody  can 
precisely  estimate  what  that  happens  in  his  own  times  will  most 
fix  the  attention  of  later  generations.  But  if  reference  be  had 
to  the  past  for  guidance,  it  is  indisputable  that  personal  narra- 
tives of  the  eminent  actors  or  thinkers  of  their  day  generally 
remain  the  most  attractive  portions  of  literature.  The  formal 
historian  is  but  a  gleaner  from  the  same  materials,  which  he 
often  spoils  by  intermixing  too  much  of  the  prejudices  and  pas- 
sions of  his  immediate  day.  Thus  it  is  that  ancient  Greek  and 
Latin  history  is  written  even  down  to  the  present  hour.  Who 
can  feel  so  confident  thatThucydides  or  Tacitus  truly  delineated 
the  eminent  characters  of  whose  action  they  treat,  as  he  would 
be  if  he  could  judge  for  himself  through  access  to  direct  testi- 
mony from  their  own  hands?  The  only  condition  essential  to 
fair  judgment  is,  that  the  material  should  be  furnished  without 
essential  manipulation  either  by  friend  or  foe.  It  is  claimed 
that  in  the  present  publication  this  condition  has  been  honestly 
fulfilled.  So  far  as  the  selection  is  concerned,  it  has  been 
affected  by  no  regard  to  the  more  or  less  favorable  position 
in  which  the  writer  may  seem  to  be  placed  by  it.  The  object 
is  as  far  as  possible  to  present  the  man  as  he  shows  himself, 
and  the  time  and  people  about  him  as  he  paints  them  from  his 
point  of  view.  These  form  the  materials  for  history,  rather 
than  history  itself.  They  abide  the  verdict  of  the  latest  because 
the  most  impartial  posterity. 


CHAPTER    II. 


THE    MISSION    TO    HOLLAND. 


The  materials  for  this  chapter  are  taken  from  two  small 
paper  books,  closely  written  by  the  hand  of  the  author,  the 
predecessors  of  the  more  formal  diary  that  follows.  They 
relate  to  the  time  between  his  unexpected  appointment  on  a 
public  mission  to  Holland  and  the  commencement  of  the  fourth 
month  of  his  actual  service  there.  The  record  is  not,  however, 
continuous.  There  is  a  break  in  it  from  the  day  of  his  arrival 
at  the  Hague,  on  the  31st  of  October,  1794,  to  the  first  of  the 
next  year.  It  may  have  been  caused  by  the  uncertainty  of  his 
position,  when  everything  about  him  appeared  to  be  shaking. 
William  V.  had  followed  the  lead  of  Great  Britain,  and  joined 
the  alliance  of  the  powers  of  Europe  adverse  to  the  action  of 
the  French  Convention.  Robespierre  had  been  overthrown, 
but  the  vigor  of  its  military  proceedings  had  suffered  no  loss  by 
the  change.  A  winter  campaign  was  entered  upon  in  the  Low 
Countries,  the  unusual  severity  of  which,  instead  of  obstructing, 
only  turned  to  the  greater  advantage  of  the  invaders.  The 
commander,  General  Pichegru,  before  the  middle  of  January 
had  succeeded  in  overcoming  all  obstacles  to  an  advance,  and 
in  defeating  the  British  and  allied  forces  opposed  to  him,  which 
determined  the  fate  of  Holland.  Indeed,  it  only  needed  the 
presence  of  a  protecting  force  from  without  to  set  in  motion 
the  popular  sympathy  of  the  Dutch  and  bring  about  a  spon- 
taneous revolution. 

Mr.  Adams  had  indeed  been  formally  accredited  at  an 
audience  granted  by  the  Stadtholder  so  early  as  the  15th  of 
November,  before  matters  had  taken  a  decisive  turn.  At  that 
time  hopes  were  probably  yet  entertained  that  the  defence 
might  be  successful.  But  after  the  10th  of  January  there  could 
3° 


1 794-]  THE   MISSION   TO  HOLLAND.  t)1 

be  no  doubt  of  the  issue,  and  the  only  thing  left  for  the  Stadt- 
holder  was  the  mode  of  effecting  a  retreat.  Although  his 
struggle  with  the  popular  party  had  been  constant,  dating  even 
before  the  American  Revolution,  when  he  had  resisted  in  vain 
the  policy  of  recognizing  the  new  republic,  and  counselled 
harmony  with  Great  Britain,  there  does  not  seem  to  have  been 
much  vindictive  feeling  towards  him.  On  the  15th  of  January 
he  formally  proceeded  to  give  in  his  resignation  of  his  post  to 
the  States-General,  as  well  as  that  of  both  his  sons  as  officers  in 
the  army.  lie  then  quietly  made  the  best  of  his  way,  with  all 
the  members  of  his  family,  out  of  the  jurisdiction,  and  across 
the  water  to  Great  Britain.  The  States-General,  on  their  side, 
immediately  constituted  themselves  a  republic,  and  awaited 
with  few  regrets  the  arrival  of  the  French  forces  on  their  way 
to  confirm  this  peaceful  revolution. 

On  this  occasion  the  diplomatic  representatives  of  five  of  the 
great  powers  vacated  their  positions.  On  the  other  hand,  that 
of  Mr.  Adams  was'  favorably  affected  rather  than  otherwise. 
The  dominant  party  was  composed  of  the  same  persons  who 
had  carried  the  point  in  1782  of  recognizing  his  father  as  the 
representative  of  an  independent  republic.  Hence  he  did  not 
hesitate  at  once  to  recognize  the  new  organization  as  the  legiti- 
mate government. 

With  these  explanations,  it  is  believed  that  the  allusions  to 
these  matters,  in  the  diary  which  follows,  may  be  readily  under- 
stood. 

On  the  3rd  day  of  June,  1794,  when  I  returned  to  my 
lodgings  at  the  close  of  the  evening,  upon  opening  a  letter 
from  my  father,  which  I  had  just  before  taken  from  the  Post- 
office,  I  found  it  contained  information  that  Edmund  Ran- 
dolph, Secretary  of  State  of  the  United  States,  had,  on  the 
morning  of  the  day  when  the  letter  was  dated,  called  on  the 
writer,  and  told  him  that  the  President  of  the  United  States 
had  determined  to  nominate  me  to  go  to  the  Hague  as  Resi- 
dent Minister  from  the  United  States.  This  intelligence  was 
very  unexpected,  and  indeed  surprising.  I  had  laid  down  as  a 
principle,  that  I  never  would  solicit  for  any  public  Office  what- 


32  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [July. 

ever,  and  from  this  determination  no  necessity  has  hitherto 
compelled  me  to  swerve.  From  the  principles  of  the  same 
nature,  which  my  father  has  always  rigidly  observed,  I  knew 
that  no  influence,  nor  even  a  request  of  any  kind  from  him, 
could  have  occasioned  this  intention  of  the  President.  And 
yet  I  was  very  sensible  that  neither  my  years,  my  experience, 
my  reputation,  nor  my  talents,  could  entitle  me  to  an  office  of 
so  much  responsibility.  It  is,  however,  of  no  service  to  indulge 
conjecture  upon  the  subject. 

On  the  5th  I  received  further  letters  from  my  father,  informing 
me  that  the  nomination  had  been  made,  and  had  received  the 
advice  and  consent  of  the  Senate,  without  a  dissenting  voice. 

On  the  Sunday  following,  the  8th,  my  father  arrived  at 
Quincy  from  Philadelphia,  and  on  Tuesday,  the  10th,  I  went 
from  Boston  to  Quincy  to  see  him.  I  found  that  my  nomina- 
tion had  been  as  unexpected  to  him  as  to  myself,  and  that  he 
had  never  uttered  a  word  upon  which  a  wish  on  his  part  could 
be  presumed  that  a  public  office  should  be  conferred  upon  me. 
His  opinion  upon  the  subject  agreed  with  my  own ;  but  his 
satisfaction  at  the  appointment  is  much  greater  than  mine. 

I  wish  I  could  have  been  consulted  before  it  was  irrevocably 
made.  I  rather  wish  it  had  not  been  made  at  all.  My  friends, 
on  the  other  hand,  appear  much  pleased  with  it,  and  seem  to 
consider  it  as  a  subject  of  pure  and  simple  congratulation. 

1 2th.  I  received  a  letter  from  the  Secretary  of  State  giving  me 
notice  of  my  appointment,  and  requesting  me  to  go  to  Phila- 
delphia. 

30th.  I  left  Boston,  and  arrived  the  same  day  in  Providence. 

July  1st.  Went  from  Providence  down  the  river  to  Newport, 
where  by  contrary  winds  I  was  detained  until  the  5th,  when  I 
sailed  in  the  packet  Romeo  for  New  York,  where  I  arrived  the 
next  night,  the  6th. 

7th.  I  remained  at  New  York,  in  order  to  get  a  little  recruited 
and  refreshed.  I  lodged  at  my  brother-in-law,  Col.  VV.  S. 
Smith's.  At  dinner  this  day  at  his  house,  I  met  M.  Talley- 
rand, the  ci-devant  Bishop  of  Autun,  Beaumetz,  member  of 
the  Constituent  National  Assembly  of  France,  and  Mr.  De  la 
Colombe,  who  was  Aid-de-camp  to  M.  de  la  Fayette,  was  with 


1794]  THE  MISSION  TO   HOLLAND.  33 

him  when  he  left  his  own  army,  and  made  his  own  escape  from 
the  Austrians,  in  disguise. 

Talleyrand  and  Bcaumctz  have  both  been  Presidents  of  the 
Constituent  Assembly  in  France ;  the  former  was  the  intimate 
of  Mirabeau;  great  promoters  of  the  Revolution,  and  among 
the  first  victims  of  it.  The  former,  a  man  of  high  birth  and  a 
bishop,  first  made  the  motion  for  the  confiscation  of  the  eccle- 
siastical property.  They  are  now  here  in  banishment — excluded 
from  France  by  the  prevalence  of  a  party  different  from  that 
to  which  they  belong;  excluded  from  England  for  the  part 
which  they  have  borne  in  the  French  Revolution  ;  this  country 
of  universal  liberty,  this  asylum  from  the  most  opposite  de- 
scriptions of  oppression,  is  the  only  one  in  which  they  can  find 
rest. 

Talleyrand  is  reserved  and  distant;  Beaumetz  more  sociable 
and  communicative.  It  is  natural  to  look  with  reverence,  at 
least  with  curiosity,  upon  men  who  have  been  so  highly  and  so 
recently  conspicuous  upon  the  most  splendid  theatre  of  human 
affairs.  If  indeed  success  is  the  criterion  of  political  excellence, 
not  one  individual  that  has  been  hitherto  actively  engaged  in 
the  progress  of  the  French  Revolution  has  been  equal  to  the 
situation  in  which  he  has  been  placed.  The  parties  have  suc- 
cessively destroyed  one  another,  and  in  the  general  wreck  it  is 
not  easy  to  distinguish  between  those  whose  fall  has  been  the 
effect  of  their  own  incapacity,  and  those  who  have  been  only 
unfortunate. 

Perhaps  there  never  has  been  a  period  in  the  history  of  man- 
kind, when  Fortune  has  sported  so  wantonly  with  reputation, 
as  of  late  in  France.  The  tide  of  popularity  has  ebbed  and 
flowed  with  nearly  the  same  frequency  as  that  of  the  ocean, 
though  not  with  the  same  regularity.  Necker,  Bailly,  La  Fay- 
ette, Barnave,  Petion,  Condorcet,  Brissot,  Danton,  and  innumer- 
able others,  have  in  their  turns  been  at  one  moment  the  idols, 
and  at  the  next  the  victims,  of  the  popular  clamor.  In  the 
distribution  of  fame,  as  in  everything  else,  they  have  been 
always  in  extremes.  And  no  doubt,  among  the  great  number 
whom   it  has  pleased  the    Sovereign   People  to   adore    for  a 

moment,  there  must  be   many  very  undeserving  of  their  wor- 
vol.  1. — 3 


o4  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [July, 

ship;  many  ordinary  characters,  adapted  only  to  the  mediocrity 
of  calm  and  quiet  times,  and  whom  nothing  but  the  rapid 
circulation  of  a  revolutionary  period  could  ever  have  raised 
to  be  seen  upon  the  surface.  Whether  the  gentlemen  of  whom 
I  am  now  speaking  are  of  this  description  it  becomes  not  me 
to  say.1 

9th.  Arrived  at  Philadelphia. 

ioth.  I  waited  on  Mr.  Randolph,  who  immediately  accom- 
panied me  and  introduced  me  to  the  President  of  the  United 
States.  He  said  little  or  nothing  to  me  upon  the  subject  of 
the  business  on  which  I  am  to  be  sent.  All  his  directions  and 
intentions  on  this  head  I  am  to  receive  through  the  medium  of 
his  Ministers.  I  dined  with  him,  General  and  Mrs.  Knox.  Mr. 
Randolph  and  Mr.  Bradford  were  there,  and  Mrs.  R.  Morris. 

nth.  The  day  on  which  I  entered  upon  the  twenty-eighth 
year  of  my  age,  I  received  my  Commission  from  the  Secretary 
of  State.  At  the  same  time  I  began  the  reading  of  six  large 
folio  volumes,  containing  the  despatches  from  my  father  during 
his  negotiations  in  Europe.  By  the  invitation  of  the  President, 
I  attended  the  reception  he  gave  to  Piomingo  and  a  number  of 
other  Chickasaw  Indians.  Five  Chiefs,  seven  Warriors,  four 
boys  and  an  interpreter  constituted  the  company.  As  soon  as 
the  whole  were  seated,  the  ceremony  of  smoking  began.  A 
large  East  Indian  pipe  was  placed  in  the  middle  of  the  Hall. 
The  tube,  which  appeared  to  be  of  leather,  was  twelve  or  fifteen 
feet  in  length.  The  President  began,  and  after  two  or  three 
whiffs,  passed  the  tube  to  Piomingo ;  he  to  the  next  Chief,  and 
so  all  round.  Whether  this  ceremony  be  really  of  Indian 
origin,  as  is  generally  supposed,  I  confess  I  have  some  doubt. 
At  least  these  Indians  appeared  to  be  quite  unused  to  it,  and 
from  their  manner  of  going  through  it,  looked  as  if  they  were 
submitting  to  a  process  in  compliance  with  our  custom.     Some 

1  The  long  and  chequered  career  of  Talleyrand  has  settled  the  question  in  his 
favor;  whilst  Beaumetz  has  passed  out  of  memory.  He  had  been  elected  by  the 
nobility  a  deputy  to  the  States-General,  in  which  body  he  took  such  a  part  after 
the  union  of  the  orders  as  to  secure  for  him  the  honor  of  presiding  over  the 
National  Assembly.  Denounced  in  1792,  he  left  France,  and  is  said  to  have 
wandered  several  years  in  various  countries.  The  time  and  place  of  his  death 
remain  uncertain. 


1794.]  THE   MISSION  TO   HOLLAND.  35 

of  them,  I  thought,  smiled  with  such  an  expression  of  counte- 
nance as  denoted  a  sense  of  novelty,  and  of  frivolity  too;  as  if 
the  ceremony  struck  them,  not  only  as  new,  but  also  as  ridicu- 
lous. When  it  was  finished,  the  President  addressed  them  in  a 
speech  which  he  read,  stopping  at  the  close  of  every  sentence 
for  the  interpreter  to  translate  it.  I  observed  that  the  inter- 
preter, at  the  close  of  every  sentence,  concluded  by  repeating 
the  same  word  twice  over.  The  sound  was  something  like 
this,  "Tshkyer!  Tshkyer!"  He  always  repeated  them  very 
rapidly,  and  as  soon  as  he  had  done,  the  five  Chiefs  all  together 
would  utter  a  sound,  importing  their  approbation.  The  sound 
was  strong  or  faint,  in  proportion  to  the  degree  of  satisfaction 
they  had  in  what  was  said.  But  I  can  give  no  adequate  idea 
of  what  it  was  by  any  combination  of  our  letters.  It  resembled 
a  horse's  neighing  as  much  as  anything,  and  more  than  once 
reminded  me  of  the  Houynhms.  Piomingo  then  desired  he 
might  be  excused  from  giving  his  talks  at  this  time,  being  very 
unwell,  but  promised  to  give  them  in  a  few  days. 

They  then  made  several  enquiries  respecting  the  Cherokees 
who  have  recently  been  here.  Their  questions  discovered  a 
mixture  of  curiosity  and  of  animosity.  These  two  nations  are 
at  war,  and  the  Chickasaws  spoke  of  the  others  as  a  perfid- 
ious people.  The  fides  punica,  it  seems,  is  not  confined  to 
civilized  nations. 

The  informal  conversation  was  held  while  wine,  punch,  and 
cake  were  carrying  round.  The  President  told  them  that  the 
Chickasaws  had  always  been  distinguished  as  sincere  and 
faithful  friends,  and  that  the  United  States  always  valued  such 
friends  most  highly.  They  said  nothing  of  their  own  sincerity, 
and  made  no  answer  to  the  President's  compliment. 

These  formalities  employed  about  an  hour;  after  which  they 
rose,  shook  hands  with  us  all,  and  departed. 

There  was  nothing  remarkable  in  their  appearance.  Some 
of  them  were  dressed  in  coarse  jackets  and  trowsers,  and  some 
in  the  uniform  of  the  United  States.  Some  of  them  had 
shirts,  and  some  had  none.  They  were  none  of  them  either 
painted  or  scarified,  and  there  were  four  or  five  who  had  rings 
in  their  noses.     One  or  two  had  large  plates,  apparently  of 


36  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [July, 

silver,  hanging  upon  the  breast,  and  I  do  not  recollect  ob- 
serving any  other  ornaments  upon  them.  I  dined  at  General 
Knox's.  Mr.  Griffin,  a  member  of  Congress  from  Virginia, 
Mr.  Maund,  an  English  gentleman,  settled  in  that  State,  and 
a  member  of  their  Senate,  and  the  ci-devant  Vicomte  de 
Noailles,  were  of  the  company. 

This  is  another  illustrious  exile  from  France — once  a  Presi- 
dent of  the  Constituent  Assembly,  and  the  first  who  moved  for 
the  abolition  of  the  feudal  rights  of  the  nobility,  or  for  some 
other  famous  revolutionary  measure.  He  fell  with  the  mon- 
archy ;  but  by  some  good  fortune,  having  originally  left  the 
country  with  express  permission,  he  is  not  included  in  the  full 
severity  of  the  laws  against  emigrants.  He  purposes  now  to 
settle  for  life  upon  a  newly-cleared  place  on  the  Susquehanna, 
called  the  Asylum,  which  really  serves  as  such  to  many  French- 
men expelled  from  their  own  country  by  the  violence  of  their 
internal  feuds.1 

We  accompanied  Mrs.  Knox  to  the  Theatre,  which  is  spa- 
cious and  elegant,  and  supplied  with  a  very  good  company  of 
performers.  Part  of  the  entertainment,  however,  we  left,  to  go 
and  pay  the  customary  visit  to  Mrs.  Washington.  As  this  was 
merely  a  mark  of  respect,  we  retired  as  early  as  we  could,  and 
returned  to  the  play.  The  remainder  of  the  evening  I  was 
seated  next  to  Mr.  Fauchet,2  the  Minister  Plenipotentiary  from 
the  French  Republic.  I  found  him  tolerably  conversable,  but 
reserved.  He  appears  to  be  not  much  beyond  thirty.  He 
spoke  of  the  Abbe  Raynal,  whom  he  knew ;  but  said  he  had 
seldom  seen  him  in  latter  times,  and  without  conversing  on  the 

1  He  returned  to  France,  took  a  commission  in  the  army,  and  was  killed  in  an 
action  with  the  British  fleet  on  the  evacuation  of  St.  Domingo  by  the  French 
forces  in  1803. 

2  One  of  the  gravest  embarrassments  met  with  by  the  first  administration,  it  is 
well  known,  grew  out  of  the  turbulent  conduct  of  the  diplomatic  agents  sent  out 
by  the  revolutionary  authorities  in  France.  Mr.  Genest  soon  gave  an  occasion  to 
demand  his  recall,  and  his  successor,  Mr.  Fauchet,  was  scarcely  more  fortunate. 
A  despatch  of  his  to  his  government,  intercepted  by  the  British,  and  by  them  com- 
municated to  the  President,  contained  language  so  mysterious  as  to  render  his 
further  continuance  inexpedient.  It  likewise  brought  on  the  resignation  of  Ed- 
mund Randolph,  the  Secretary  of  State.  Mr.  Fauchet  had  already  been  super- 
seded by  Mr.  Adet. 


1794]  THE  MISSION  TO   HOLLAND.  37 

subject  of  the  Revolution.  There  was  another  man  of  letters, 
much  his  superior,  the  Abbe  Barthelemi.  I  told  him  I  had 
great  veneration  for  his  character,  and  had  heard  with  great 
regret  that  he  had  lately  "suffered!'  (I  hardly  knew  how  to 
express,  with  the  delicate  ambiguity  which  I  thought  neces- 
sary, the  operation  of  the  guillotine.)  He  assured  me  that  the 
information  was  false,  and  that  the  Abbe  Barthelemi  was  highly 
respected  by  the  present  ruling  powers  of  France. 

Milton's  mask  of  Comus  was  one  part  of  the  evening's  per- 
formance. "  It  is  the  work  of  a  great  man,"  said  Mr.  Fauchet. 
"Aye,"  said  I,  "and  of  a  great  republican.  He  wrote  a  book 
in  defence  of  the  people  of  England  for  beheading  Charles  the 
1st."  "That  book,"  said  Mr.  Fauchet,  "  Mirabeau  boasted  of 
having  made  known  in  France,  and  published  a  translation  of 
it,  which  he  pretended  was  his  own  ;  but  in  reality  it  was  an  old 
one,  which  had  been  published  many  years  ago."  "  Mirabeau's 
reputation,"  said  I,  "  has  undergone  great  revolutions  since  that 
of  France  began."  "  He  was  indisputably,"  said  he,  "  a  man 
of  great  talents  ;  but  as  to  his  integrity  the  fact  is  not  so  clearly 
settled."  "Was  he  a  man  of  courage?"  "On  pretend  que 
non."  Everything  was  as  guarded  and  cautious  as  this.  "  The 
accounts  of  success  from  the  French  are  confirmed,"  said  he, 
"  and  it  is  not  improbable  that  on  your  arrival  you  will  find  the 
Stadtholder's  Court  at  Breda.  I  have  great  hopes  of  that  coun- 
try. I  think  the  seeds  of  a  happy  revolution  are  there;  and 
always  regretted  that  the  patriots  were  abandoned  and  sacri- 
ficed. You  will  arrive  at  a  very  critical  time.  Important  nego- 
tiations must  take  place  at  the  close  of  the  present  campaign. 
The  combined  powers,  Prussia,  Austria,  and  Spain,  must  surely 
discover  that  they  are  laboring  for  an  object,  the  success  of 
which  would  be  destructive  to  themselves.  France  once  de- 
stroyed, and  where  will  there  be  a  power  to  balance  that  of 
England?  They  are  wrong  to  abuse  Pitt  as  they  do.  His 
plan  is,  in  my  opinion,  vast  and  profound  ;  and  his  execution 
has  hitherto  been  equally  artful.  His  object  is  to  ruin  France, 
to  establish  beyond  control  the  power  of  Britain,  and  he  has 
had  the  address  to  employ  those  nations,  the  most  deeply  inter- 
ested against  the  system,  to  spend  their  blood  and  treasure  in 


38  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [July, 

promoting  it."  I  was  content  to  be  simply  a  hearer  of  these 
observations,  and  easily  perceived  the  policy  of  Mr.  Fauchet  in 
advancing  these  sentiments.  For  if  this  be  the  system  of  the 
British  Government,  there  is  none  of  the  European  nations  who 
ought  to  wish  more  earnestly  for  its  failure  than  the  United  States. 
As  a  commercial  people,  we  must  very  soon  be  their  most  dan- 
gerous rivals.  As  a  naval  power,  we  must  in  time  be  their 
superiors ;  and  France  being  the  only  country  in  Europe  that 
can  pretend  to  cope  with  them  on  the  sea  at  this  time,  their 
claim  to  the  dominion  of  the  ocean  would  be  established  beyond 
control  by  the  destruction  of  the  French  power.  In  the  tri- 
umphs of  Britain,  it  would  be  absurd  to  expect  moderation; 
and  if,  by  the  ruin  of  her  rival,  she  could  effectually  secure  the 
lordship  of  the  waves,  the  United  States  would  certainly  be 
among  the  first  to  feel  the  insolence  of  her  supremacy.  This 
was  not  said  by  Mr.  Fauchet ;  but  it  was  an  inevitable  inference 
from  his  opinions,  and  I  believe  it  has  too  much  foundation.  I 
have  seen,  however,  in  some  of  the  opposition  newspapers,  a 
speculation  in  which  the  system  is  attacked,  and  the  writer 
attempts  to  prove  that  by  the  destruction  of  France,  England 
herself  would  be  brought  in  jeopardy,  and  the  power. of  Russia 
only  would  be  so  promoted  and  strengthened,  as  to  become 
the  tyrant  of  Europe. 

1 2th.  Dined  with  Mr.  Hammond,  the  British  Minister  Plenipo- 
tentiary.1 There  was  no  other  company,  and  we  were  tolerably 
sociable.  It  was  the  renewal  of  an  old  acquaintance,  but  I  felt 
it  necessary  to  be  peculiarly  cautious  with  the  Minister  of  a 
Foreign  Nation,  with  whom  the  United  States  are  now  engaged 
in  a  controversy  which  bears  a  very  serious  aspect.  He  spoke 
of  the  late  speech  of  the  Governor  of  Massachusetts,  which 
appears  to  have  given  him  much  offence.2     He  seemed  to  wish 

1  The  first  Envoy  sent  from  Great  Britain  to  the  United  States. 

2  Samuel  Adams,  elected  Governor  of  Massachusetts  in  the  place  of  John  Han- 
cock, who  had  died  in  office  the  preceding  year.  In  his  speech  at  the  opening  of 
the  session  of  the  legislature,  in  the  preceding  month,  he  had  taken  occasion 
sharply  to  comment  upon  the  course  of  Great  Britain,  as  displayed  in  papers  lately 
published,  touching  an  address  to  the  Indians  by  Lord  Dorchester,  then  the  Gov- 
ernor of  Canada,  about  which  a  correspondence  between  the  Secretary  of  State  and 
Mr.  Hammond  had  just  taken  place. 


1794.]  THE   MISS/OX  TO  HOLLAND.  39 

me  to  speak  of  that  Gentleman,  and  to  expect  that  I  should 
express  not  much  respect  for  his  character.  I  did  not  choose 
to  gratify  him  ;  but  spoke  of  the  Governor  in  general  terms, 
and  with  respect.  I  enquired  if  he  had  any  further  particulars 
than  such  as  were  public,  relative  to  the  late  actions  in  Flan- 
ders. He  said  no.  He  affected  to  speak  lightly  of  the  Duke 
of  York's  defeat,  as  well  as  of  the  late  proceedings  in  England, 
and  the  suspension  of  the  Habeas  Corpus  Act.  The  Govern- 
ment there,  he  said,  was  infinitely  stronger  than  ours,  and  even 
had  fewer  opposers.  Personally,  he  said,  he  wished  well  to 
our  Government,  and  hoped  it  would  continue.  But  he  believed 
that  two-thirds  of  the  people  were  opposed  to  it,  whereas  in 
Great  Britain  there  was  not  more  than  one  in  a  hundred  hostile 
to  their  Government.  I  told  him,  that  for  the  employment  of 
force,  the  observation  was  just,  and  that  our  constituted  au- 
thority could  not  venture  upon  measures  so  decisive  as  were 
adopted  by  theirs ;  but  that  as  to  a  spirit  of  real  hostility,  I 
did  not  think  it  existed  in  the  proportion  of  two-thirds,  nor 
even  of  one,  in  this  country. 

September  17th.  I  went  on  board  the  ship  "Alfred,"  Stephen 
Macey  commander,  for  London  ;  together  with  my  brother, 
and  a  servant.  Dr.  Welsh  and  Mr.  W.  S.  Smith  accompanied 
us  on  board  the  ship,  and  returned  on  shore  as  soon  as  we 
were  fairly  under  weigh.  My  friends,  Daniel  Sargent  Junr. 
and  Nathan  Frazier  Junr.,  went  with  us  down  as  far  as  the 
light-house.  At  ten  a.m.  we  weighed;  and  just  at  noon  were 
abreast  of  the  Light.  My  friends  then  left  us  to  return  home. 
"  The  name  of  your  ship,"  said  Frazier,  "  is  auspicious,"  and 
alluding  to  the  new  French  Calendar,  "You  depart,"  said  he, 
"  on  the  day  of  Virtue,  I  hope  you  will  return  upon  the  day  of 
Rewards."  The  pain  of  separation  from  my  friends  and 
country  was  felt  as  poignantly  by  me,  at  the  moment  when 
these  two  young  men  left  the  ship,  as  it  ever  has  been  at  any 
period  of  my  life.  It  was  like  the  severing  the  last  string  from 
the  heart.  I  looked  back  at  their  boat,  as  long  as  it  could  be 
seen,  and  when  it  had  got  out  of  sight,  I  did  not,  but  I  could 
have,  turned  my  eye  and  wept.  By  two  p.m.  we  were  fairly  at  sea. 


40  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [October, 

October  14th.  Discovered  the  Light  House  at  Dungeness,  at 
about  11,  passed  it  between  12  and  I, — soon  came  abreast  of 
the  White  Cliffs,  so  celebrated  in  song,  and  just  after  three, 
were  opposite  Dover.  A  signal  was  made  for  a  pilot,  who 
came  immediately  on  board,  in  a  small  boat.  The  men  in  the 
boat  then  proposed  to  carry  on  shore  the  passengers,  and  after 
a  little  chaffering  whether  their  extortion  should  amount  to  a 
guinea,  or  only  half  a  guinea,  for  each  passenger,  they  came  to 
the  latter  price,  and  took  us  on  board.  They  then  discovered 
that  the  wind  and  tide  had  already  carried  us  so  far  below  the 
town,  and  the  swell  was  so  high,  that  we  could  not  get  back; 
and  that  we  must  land  four  miles  below  ;  from  whence  we 
should  have  an  agreeable  walk  to  Dover,  and  we  could  send 
our  baggage  forward  easily,  in  a  caravan.  If  however  we  pre- 
ferred it,  for  an  additional  guinea  they  would  carry  us  on  still 
five  miles  further,  to  Deal,  where  we  should  find  an  Inn  close 
upon  the  beach,  and  carriages  for  London,  ready  at  any  hour. 
Expostulation  was  useless,  and,  as  the  least  of  two  evils,  we 
chose  to  land  at  Deal.  At  five  p.m.  our  boat  was  brought 
broadside  towards  the  shore,  and  was  driven  up  by  one  breaker 
after  another  upon  the  beach,  until  we  could  step  on  dry  land, 
and  we  were  fortunate  that  the  swell  there  was  very  small, 
so  that  we  did  not  get  wet.  Directly  opposite  our  landing 
place,  we  found  the  Royal  Exchange  Inn,  at  which,  with  the 
highest  satisfaction,  we  found  firm  footing  once  more ;  the 
twenty-eighth  day  after  our  departure  from  Boston.  The 
passage  has  been  favorable  beyond  my  most  sanguine  ex- 
pectations, and  considering  the  flimsy,  crazy  condition  of  the 
old  ship,  her  uncommon  dulness  of  sailing,  and  the  mistakes 
of  our  Captain,  we  must  confess  that  our  good  fortune  has  been 
really  extraordinary.  However,  the  state  of  constant  uninter- 
rupted anxiety,  which  arose  from  the  precarious  tenure  upon 
which  we  held  our  existence,  and  the  alarm  which  every 
appearance  of  foul  weather  naturally  excited  on  board  such  a 
ship,  will  I  think  induce  me  to  avoid  ever  embarking  in  an 
eggshell  again,  to  cross  the  Atlantic.  It  is  the  second  time  I 
have  been  in  jeopardy  from  a  leaky  vessel.  It  behoves  me  to 
beware  of  the  third.     Yet  I  cannot  answer  for  the  inducement 


1794]  THE   MISSION   TO   HOLLAND.  4! 

of  a  concurrence  of  circumstances  like  that  which  brought  me 
on  board  the  Alfred.  From  such  a  situation,  it  may  well  be 
supposed,  I  rejoice  in  being  delivered  ;  and  the  moment  of 
landing  this  day,  was  one  of  those  instants  of  real  and  perfect 
satisfaction  which  occur  seldom  in  the  course  of  human  life. 

15th.  At  about  three  this  morning,  we  started  from  Deal  in  a 
Post  Chaise,  leaving  my  servant  behind,  to  come  on  this  after- 
noon, in  the  Stage  Coach.     Our  road  was, 

From  Deal  to  Canterbury    ...     22  miles. 
"       Canterbury  to  Sittingbourn      16     " 
"       Sittingbourn  to  Rochester  .      1 1      " 
Rochester  to  Dartford    .     .      15     " 
0       Dartford  to  London  ...      14     " 
The  point  of  departure  is  from  London  Bridge,  and  the  distance 
within  the  City  is  a  separate  calculation. 

We  breakfasted  at  Canterbury,  at  the  most  indifferent  house 
we  found  upon  the  road.  At  Dartford  we  dined ;  and  arrived 
at  the  Virginia  Coffee  House,  just  below  the  Royal  Exchange, 
at  about  half-past  seven  in  the  evening.  Just  before  we  got  to 
the  London  Bridge,  we  heard  a  rattling  before  us,  and  immedi- 
ately after,  a  sound  as  of  a  trunk  falling  from  the  carriage.  I 
instantly  looked  forward,  and  saw  that  both  our  trunks  were 
gone.  One  of  them  contained  all  the  public  despatches  which 
I  brought  for  the  American  Minister  here,  and  which  was  my 
principal  inducement  for  coming  here.  For  a  moment,  I  felt 
sensations  of  the  severest  distress.  But  my  brother  immediately 
alighted,  and  found  the  trunk  of  despatches  directly  under  the 
carriage.  The  other  trunk  was  a  few  rods  behind,  and  in  half 
a  minute  more  must  have  been  crushed  to  pieces  by  the  horse's 
hoofs,  of  a  carriage  which  followed  hard  upon  us.  We  secured 
them  both  inside  our  chaise  for  the  rest  of  our  way,  and  our 
driver  assured  us  that  the  trunks  could  not  have  fallen,  unless 
the  straps  had  been  cut  away.  On  reaching  our  lodgings,  and 
bringing  our  trunks  to  a  light,  we  found  the  conjecture  of  our 
postilion  was  well  founded  ;  but  whether  his  sagacity  arose  from 
his  being  privy  to  the  villainy  and  concerned  in  it,  or  not,  we 
had  no  means  of  determining ;  and  as  our  things  were  saved, 
was  of  little  consequence  to  us  to  know. 


42  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [October, 

But  for  myself,  I  felt  the  most  exquisite  satisfaction  at  this 
hair- breadth  escape  from  a  misfortune,  which  to  my  mind,  as 
it  respected  myself  personally,  would  have  reduced  me  to  the 
condition  of  regretting  my  other  escape  from  the  dangers  of  the 
seas.  Entrusted  with  despatches  of  the  highest  importance, 
with  numerous  original  documents  relative  to  the  depredations 
upon  the  American  Commerce,  now  a  subject  of  negotiation1 
between  the  two  countries,  with  papers  particularly  committed 
to  my  care,  because  they  were  highly  confidential,  and  the 
ground  upon  which  I  was  directed  by  the  President  of  the 
United  States  to  take  my  passage  first  to  London,  in  prefer- 
ence lo  an  immediate  opportunity  for  Amsterdam,  with  what 
a  face  could  I  have  presented  myself  to  the  Minister  for  whom 
they  were  intended,  to  tell  him  that  I  had  lost  them  on  the 
way?  How  could  I  have  informed  the  Secretary  of  State  of 
the  fate  of  his  papers?  What  would  have  been  my  feelings  on 
the  reflection  that  they  would  probably  all  be  put  in  the  posses- 
sion of  the  Ministry  here  ?  And  how  could  I  have  supported 
the  idea  that  the  story,  with  a  thousand  alterations  and  aggra- 
vations, would  be  resounded  from  one  end  of  the  United  States 
to  the  other  ?  What  a  field  for  the  aspersions  of  malice  !  What 
a  fund  for  the  suspicions  of  jealousy  !  What  an  opening  for  the 
insinuations  of  envy !  And  what  a  ground-work  for  the  fabric 
of  slander!  Well  then  might  I  consider  this  instance  of  good 
fortune  as  more  important  to  myself,  and  to  my  country,  than 
my  preservation,  and  even  that  of  the  papers,  from  the  perils  of 
the  voyage ! 

Yet  for  the  mortification  of  my  vanity,  I  can  attribute  very  little, 
if  any,  of  my  luck  in  avoiding  this  accident,  to  any  precaution 
of  my  own.  An  extreme  anxiety  for  the  trust  committed  to 
me  had  indeed  never  left  me,  from  the  moment  we  landed  at 
Deal ;  and  I  had  been  at  the  pains  of  having  the  whole  package 
of  two  trunks  changed  there,  that  I  might  have  my  treasure 
under  my  own  eye,  rather  than  leave  it  but  for  a  day  in  the 
custody  of  my  servant.  We  set  out  so  early  in  the  morning, 
in  order  to  reach  London  before  dark ;  and  as  long  as  daylight 

1  This  allusion  is  to  the  well-known  negotiation  of  Mr.  Jay,  which  ended  in  the 
treaty  ever  since  associated  with  his  name. 


1794]  THE   MISSION   TO   HOLLAND.  43 

lasted,  my  trunk  had  been  scarcely  a  moment  out  of  my  sight. 
But  we  had  not  succeeded  in  finishing  our  journey  before  the 
night  set  in.  The  dexterous  felony  was  committed  in  the  shade 
of  night,  in  the  bustle  of  a  London  street,  our  carriage  rattling 
over  the  pavements,  and  the  noise  of  twenty  others  contributing 
to  confuse  our  sense  of  hearing — half  a  minute  more,  and  my 
trunk  would  have  been  irretrievably  gone.  That  I  heard  the 
falling  trunk  early  enough  to  defeat  the  intended  theft,  I  can 
only  consider  as  one  of  the  most  fortunate  circumstances  that 
ever  occurred  to  me  in  the  course  of  my  life. 

Had  the  misfortune  really  befallen  me,  I  could  not  have  im- 
puted it,  however,  to  any  fault,  or  even  to  any  deficiency,  of  mine. 
I  had  neglected  no  possible  precaution  ;  for  the  papers  were  too 
voluminous  to  be  contained  in  a  trunk  which  could  have  been 
carried  within  the  carriage.  And  although  the  trunks  were 
lashed  before  the  chaise,  the  straps  were  cut  by  an  invisible 
hand,  when  most  assuredly  there  was  nobody  to  be  seen  near 
them.  There  is  but  one  method  by  which  we  can  account  for 
the  performance  of  this  ingenious  trick.  About  three  minutes 
before  it  was  done,  the  chaise  had  stopped  to  pay  the  toll  of  a 
turnpike.  A  small  child  might,  at  that  moment,  have  crept 
under  the  carriage,  between  the  hind  wheels,  and  fastened  him- 
self upon  the  perch  ;  waited  there  until  we  were  again  in  motion, 
then  silently  sever  the  ropes  and  straps  with  a  knife  or  razor, 
drop  from  the  perch,  mingle  with  the  crowd  of  passengers  in 
the  street,  and  wait  with  his  accomplices  to  pick  up  the  fallen 
goods  as  soon  as  our  carriage  should  have  been  a  few  rods 
further  advanced.  This,  I  am  told,  is  a  practice  not  unusual 
among  the  skilful  thieves  of  this  metropolis,  and  seems  to  be 
tire  only  possible  means  by  which  the  attempt  was  made,  which, 
so  happily  for  my  peace,  and  the  welfare  of  my  country,  failed 
of  success. 

We  took  a  chamber  for  the  night,  at  the  Virginia  Coffee 
House ;  but  after  the  accident  that  had  happened,  I  could  not 
think  of  sleeping  with  Mr.  Jay's  despatches  in  my  possession. 
I  therefore  immediately  took  a  hackney  coach,  and  drove  to 
the  Royal  Hotel  in  Pall  Mall,  where  Mr.  J.  lodges.  He  was 
ill  with  a  Rheumatic  complaint,  and  has  been  for  several  days 


44  MEMOIRS    OF  JOHN   QUINCY  ADAMS.  [October, 

confined  to  his  chamber;  but  upon  informing  his  servant  of 
my  errand,  I  was  admitted,  and  received  by  him  with  great 
cordiality. 

Having  delivered  my  despatches,  and  had  a  short  desultory 
conversation  of  about  half  an  hour  with  him,  I  took  my  leave, 
and  returned  to  my  lodgings  ;  where  on  going  into  Mr.  Walker's 
chamber,  I  found  there  my  old  friend,  Tom  Crafts,1  and  felt 
the  most  exquisite  satisfaction  in  taking  him  once  more  by  the 
hand.  We  passed  an  hour  very  happily  in  mutual  congratula- 
tions and  enquiries,  and  then  severally  retired  to  rest,  where  the 
pleasing  reflection  of  having  so  far  accomplished  my  voyage, 
and  of  having  happily  steered  clear  of  so  many  perils,  continued 
revolving  in  my  mind,  until  I  fell  asleep. 

To  a  person  arriving  from  a  tedious  and  uncomfortable 
voyage,  the  appearance  of  the  country  between  Deal  and  this 
City  is  beautiful  beyond  description.  The  verdure  of  the  fields, 
the  luxuriance  of  the  harvest,  the  infinite  variety  of  delightful 
prospects,  the  apparent  opulence  of  the  Cities,  the  unrivalled 
excellence  of  the  roads,  of  the  travelling  carriages  and  horses, 
the  neatness  and  elegance  of  accommodations  at  the  Inns,  and 
the  vast  numbers  of  travellers,  who  seem  to  make  the  way, 
through  the  whole  distance,  little  different  from  a  street  of 
public  resort,  all  combining  together,  convey  an  idea  of  perfect 
enchantment.  In  every  one  of  these  circumstances,  the  country 
has  very  perceptibly  improved  since  I  last  travelled  this  road, 
a  little  more  than  thirteen  years  ago.2  They  all  seem  to  dem- 
onstrate the  vast  wealth  of  the  Kingdom ;  and  the  perpetual 
recurrence  of  calls  for  money  must  convince  every  man  that 
here,  at  least,  it  is  considered  as  the  supreme,  if  not  the  only 
good. 

At  the  continual  succession  of  objects  to  admire,  which  pre- 
sented themselves  to  our  view,  during  the  course  of  this  day, 
we  might  sometimes  perhaps  have  gazed  ourselves  insensibly 

1  Mr.  Crafts  was  graduated  at  Harvard  College,  in  the  class  two  years  in  advance 
of  the  writer.     He  died  in  1798. 

2  This  calculation  would  go  back  to  the  year  1781,  before  the  close  of  the  war, 
which  is  an  obvious  error.  The  writer  did  accompany  his  father  over  this  same 
road  in  the  month  of  October,  17S3,  that  is,  eleven  years  before. 


1 794- J  THE   MISSION   TO   HOLLAND.  45 

to  stupefaction,  had  we  not  with  equal  frequency  been  called 
to  satisfy  the  demands  of  postilions,  of  waiters,  of  hostlers,  and 
of  the  whole  tribe  of  servants,  whose  subsistence,  by  the  custom 
of  the  country,  is  palmed  upon  the  generosity  of  travellers  and 
guests.  It  is  one  of  the  most  troublesome  inconveniences  that 
are  met  with  in  this  country,  for  as  the  quantum  of  the  gratuity 
depends  upon  the  pleasure  of  the  giver,  there  is  no  standard  by 
which  to  measure  the  proper  compensation  for  the  services  per- 
formed ;  and  four  times  in  five  these  insatiable  leeches  are  dis- 
contented with  what  is  given  them,  and  beg  for  more;  which 
if  refused,  they  turn  away  with  an  insolence  of  air  and  manner, 
not  sufficient  to  warrant  resentment,  but  always  enough  to  be 
offensive. 

Were  I  (as  Mr.  Walter  Shandy  says)  absolute  monarch  of 
this  Island,  I  certainly  would  make  a  regulation,  that  servants 
should  be  paid  by  their  own  masters.  I  would  never  allow  of 
this  privileged  beggary,  which  will  neither  fix  its  demand,  nor 
acquiesce  in  what  it  receives.  As  it  is,  I  must  submit  to  the 
custom  ;  pay  well,  and  hear  their  subsequent  importunity  with 
philosophical  indifference.1 

16th.  Before  we  rose  this  morning,  Tilly  arrived  in  the  Coach 
from  Deal.  We  indulged  ourselves,  indeed,  beyond  the  usual 
hour,  and  made  it  late  before  we  went  to  breakfast  with  Mr. 
Jay.  We  found  there  a  Mr.  Pierpont,  who  has  just  arrived 
from  France,  and  who  gave  us  some  account  of  the  state  of 
things  in  Paris,  where  the  moderate  party  now  prevails.  In- 
deed nothing  ever  was  more  surprising  to  me,  than  when  Mr. 
Jay,  last  evening,  asked  me  whether  the  death  of  Robespierre 
was  known  in  America  before  I  sailed.  I  repeated  with  utter 
astonishment,  "  Robespierre  dead,"  more  times  than  was  per- 
fectly decent;  and  could  scarcely  believe  I  had  heard  right, 
until  he  assured  me  very  seriously,  that  about  six  weeks  or 
two  months  since,  Robespierre,  with  a  considerable  number  of 
his  partisans,  were  accused,  tried,  condemned,  and  executed, 
in  less  than  twenty-four  hours,  by  a  party  of  moderates,  who 
had  succeeded  to  his  power,  and  from  that  day  to  this  have 

1  This  practice  is  not  even  yet  wholly  obsolete  in  England. 


46  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [October, 

loaded  his  memory  with  every  possible  execration,  calling  him 
by  scarce  any  other  name  than  the  Tyrant,  and  imputing  to 
him,  and  his  system,  all  the  horrible  cruelties  which  have  deso- 
lated the  country  for  the  last  two  years. 

The  party  which  began  its  career  of  power  by  ridding  the 
earth  of  such  a  scourge,  cannot  fairly,  on  that  account,  be 
charged  with  having  falsely  assumed  the  title  of  moderates. 
And  their  conduct  since  that  time  has  been  such  as  to  give 
them  a  real  claim  to  the  epithet.  There  have  been  scarcely 
any  public  executions,  few  arrests  ;  and  great  numbers  of  pris- 
oners released,  who  can  attribute  their  present  existence  only 
to  the  fall  of  Robespierre. 

After  breakfast,  Col.  Trumbull,  Mr.  Jay's  Secretary,  went 
with  us,  and  introduced  us  to  Mr.  Pinckney,  our  Minister  Pleni- 
potentiary at  this  Court,  for  whom  I  likewise  had  despatches. 

1 8th.  Went  to  Drury  Lane  Theatre  to  see  Henry  the  Eighth, 
with  a  farce  called  The  Glorious  First  of  ynne.  The  house 
itself  has  undergone  a  thorough  alteration  since  I  was  here 
before,  and  has  been  lately  repaired  at  the  expense,  it  is  said, 
of  a  hundred  thousand  pounds.  The  house  was  thin,  notwith- 
standing Mrs.  Siddons  appeared  in  the  character  of  Queen 
Catherine.  She  is  as  much  as  ever,  and  as  deservedly,  the  fa- 
vorite of  the  public,  but  the  enthusiasm  of  novelty  is  past,  and 
her  appearance  alone  no  longer  crowds  the  houses,  as  it  was 
wont  in  the  autumn  of  1783.  She  performed  the  part  of  Cath- 
erine to  great  perfection ;  much  beyond  the  excellence  of  Mrs. 
Yates,  whom  I  once  saw  and  admired  in  the  same  character. 
None  of  the  other  persons  of  the  Drama  were  better,  most  of 
them  not  so  well  filled  as  at  the  former  period ;  and  in  Wolsey, 
Bensley  was  a  miserable  substitute  indeed  for  Henderson,  who 
in  this  character  used  to  excel  himself.  Palmer's  Henry  was 
very  good,  but  all  the  rest  were  below  the  style  of  mediocrity. 
The  farce  or  after-piece  was  a  miserable  compound  of  dulness 
and  gasconade  upon  the  subject  of  their  late  naval  victory, 
which  nothing  but  the  ostrich  stomach  of  national  vanity  could 
ever  have  digested,  and  for  which  even  the  undistinguishing 
palate  of  their  heavy  pride  was  obliged  to  affect  a  relish  higher 
than  it  felt.   The  applause  of  the  audience  was  frequent  enough ; 


1794]  THE   MISSION   TO   HOLLAND.  47 

but  it  was  faint,  and  very  evidently  was  bestowed  by  patriotism, 
at  the  expense  of  taste;  for  it  is  doubtless  an  unequivocal  proof 
of  patriotism  to  clap  the  hands  at  the  stupid  fustian  of  national 
adulation  ;  and  the  puny  cits  and  courtiers,  who  are  idling  in 
the  arms  of  my  Lady  Peace  at  a  play-house,  think  when  they 
applaud  this  nonsense  that  they  are  rendering  important  ser- 
vices to  their  King  and  Country. 

20th.  I  spent  most  of  the  forenoon  at  Mr.  Jay's,  in  company 
with  Mr.  Pinckney,1  in  conversation  upon  the  subject  of  the 
negotiation  now  on  foot  between  the  former  of  these  gentle- 
men and  the  Ministry  here.  The  plan  of  a  treaty  now  in  dis- 
cussion was  read,  and  then  taken  up,  and  considered  Article  by 
Article.  The  business,  however,  was  not  finished,  and  we  ad- 
journed over  the  subject  for  a  further  meeting  till  to-morrow. 
We  dined  with  Mr.  Jay,  and  afterwards  I  went  with  Col.  Trum- 
bull, and  Mr.  Peter  Jay,  son  to  the  Minister,  to  Covent  Garden 
Theatre.  The  performance  of  the  night  was  Romeo  and  Juliet, 
with  a  pantomime  called  Oscar  and  Malvina,  the  subject  of 
which  is  taken  from  Ossian.  Juliet  was  personated  by  a  Miss 
Wallis,  who  makes  her  first  appearance  on  the  London  stage 
this  season.  Her  external  appearance  has  everything  to  capti- 
vate. Young,  beautiful,  and  amiable  in  the  highest  degree,  she 
is  peculiarly  calculated  for  characters  in  which  these  quali- 
ties are  displayed.  But  her  voice  has  hardly  sufficient  strength 
to  fill  the  house,  and  she  is  not  adapted  to  those  situations 
where  the  energies  of  a  sublime  genius  are  required.  In  these 
talents  Mrs.  Siddons  has  yet  no  competitor;  but  for  the  soft 
and  delicate  graces,  for  the  peculiar  charm  of  female  tender- 
ness and  sensibility,  I  have  seldom  seen  an  actress  who  could 
dispute  the  prize  with  Miss  Wallis.  Holman,  in  Romeo,  was 
detestable.  Lewis,  in  Mercutio,  excellent.  The  Nurse  was 
very  well  acted,  and  Friar  Lawrence,  tolerable ;  the  rest  were 
worse  than  indifferent;  and  the  tout-ensemble  of  the  perform- 
ance was  very  little  superior  to  that  of  Powell's  Company  at 
Boston,  which  I  saw  there  last  May.  The  pantomime  of  Oscar 
and    Malvina  was  an  insipid   pageant,  which  was   only  made 

1  Thomas  Pinckney,  at  this  time  the  Minister  from  the  United  States  accredited 
at  this  court. 


4g  MEMOIRS    OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [October, 

tolerable  by  the  comparison  with  the  stuff  I  had  seen  at  Drury 
Lane. 

In  the  interlude  between  the  plays,  the  music  struck  the  tune 
of  God  save  the  King.  Immediately,  a  thunder-clap  of  loud 
applause  burst  forth  from  every  part  of  the  house,  and  the 
whole  audience  rose.  They  continued  standing  for  as  much  as 
ten  minutes,  while  the  tune  was  played,  clapping  their  hands, 
and  crying,  bravo !  bravo  !  with  as  much  enthusiasm  as  they 
could  have  done,  had  they  felt  all  the  interest  they  pretended. 
Pure  patriotism  again.  All  for  the  service  of  their  King  and 
Country.  I  am  always  averse  to  an  appearance  of  singularity. 
I  rose  with  the  rest  of  the  company;  but  I  was  under  no  obliga- 
tion to  join  in  the  applause,  and  I  could  not  help  disdaining  the 
baseness  of  their  servility. 

2 1  st.  Breakfasted  with  Mr.  Jay.  Mr.  Pinckney  and  Mr.  Wil- 
liam Vaughan  were  there.  We  afterwards  proceeded  in  the 
consideration  of  the  projected  Treaty  till  3,  but  did  not  finish, 
and  are  to  renew  the  subject  to-morrow.  We  returned  and 
dined  with  Mr.  Jay,  and  passed  an  hour  in  very  agreeable 
conversation  after  dinner  with  him. 

22d.  We  passed  this  forenoon  like  the  two  former,  and  at 
length  got  through  the  discussion  of  the  Treaty.  It  is  far  from 
being  satisfactory  to  those  gentlemen ;  it  is  much  below  the 
standard  which  I  think  would  be  advantageous  to  the  country; 
but,  with  some  alterations  which  are  marked  down,  and  to 
which  it  seems  there  is  a  probability  they  will  consent,  it  is,  in 
the  opinion  of  the  two  plenipotentiaries,  preferable  to  a  war. 
And  when  Mr.  Jay  asked  me  my  opinion,  I  answered  that  I 
could  only  acquiesce  in  that  idea. 

There  are  three  points  of  view  in  which  this  instrument  may 
be  considered.  As  it  respects  the  satisfaction  to  be  received  by 
the  United  States ;  as  it  relates  to  the  satisfaction  to  be  made ; 
and  as  a  permanent  treaty  of  Commerce. 

In  the  first  place,  the  satisfaction  proposed  to  be  made  to  the 
United  States  for  the  recent  depredations  upon  her  commerce, 
the  principal  object  of  Mr.  Jay's  Mission.  It  is  provided  for  in 
as  ample  a  manner  as  we  could  expect.  That  complete  indem- 
nification will  be  made  to  every  individual  sufferer,  I  fear,  is 


1794]  THE   MISSION   TO   HOLLAND.  49 

impossible ;  but  as  the  evil  is  done  and  cannot  be  recalled,  I 
know  not  well  how  we  could  require  more  than  the  stipulations 
of  this  treaty  contain.  The  delivery  of  the  posts  is  protracted 
to  a  more  distant  period  than  would  be  desirable ;  but  the  com- 
pensation made  for  the  past  and  the  future  detention  of  them 
will,  I  think,  be  a  sufficient  equivalent.  The  commerce  with 
their  West  India  Islands,  partially  opened  to  us,  will  be  of  great 
importance,  and  indemnify  us  for  the  deprivation  of  the  fur 
trade  since  the  Treaty  of  peace,  as  well  as  for  the  negroes 
carried  away  contrary  to  the  engagement  of  the  Treaty,  at  least 
as  far  as  it  respects  the  nation. 

As  to  the  satisfaction  we  are  to  make,  I  think  it  is  no  more 
than  in  justice  is  due  from  us.  The  indemnity  promised  to 
British  subjects,  for  their  losses  resulting  from  the  non-compli- 
ance with  the  Treaty  on  our  part,  is  to  be  settled  in  the  same 
manner  with  that  which  our  citizens  are  to  receive,  and  in  fact 
is  to  depend  upon  the  fulfilment  of  their  engagement  to  de- 
liver the  posts.  The  Article  which  provides  against  the  future 
confiscation  of  debts  and  of  property  in  the  funds,  is  useful, 
because  it  is  honest.  If  its  operation  should  turn  out  more 
advantageous  to  them,  it  will  be  more  honorable  to  us;  and  I 
never  can  object  to  entering  formally  into  an  obligation  to  do 
that  which,  upon  every  virtuous  principle,  ought  to  be  done 
without  it. 

As  a  Treaty  of  Commerce,  this  Treaty  will  indeed  be  of  little 
use  to  us — and  we  never  shall  obtain  anything  more  favorable, 
so  long  as  the  principles  of  the  Navigation  Act  are  so  obsti- 
nately adhered  to  in  this  country.  This  system  is  so  much  a 
favorite  with  the  nation,  that  no  Minister  would  dare  depart 
from  it.  Indeed  I  have  no  idea  that  we  shall  ever  obtain,  by 
compact,  a  better  footing  for  our  Commerce  with  this  country 
than  that  on  which  it  now  stands.  And  therefore,  the  short- 
ness of  time  limited  for  the  operation  of  this  part  of  the  com- 
pact is,  I  think,  beneficial  to  us. 

The  Article  proposed  by  Lord  Loughborough,  the  Chancellor, 
is  certainly  extremely  liberal;  although  Mr.  Jay  thinks  it  best 
to  leave  it  as  a  subject  for  future  consideration.  It  is,  that  in 
either  country,  the  subjects  or  citizens  of  the  other  shall  be 

VOL.   I. — 4 


50  MEMOIRS    OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [October, 

exempted  from  all  the  disabilities  of  alienage.  Such  an  Article 
would  certainly  tend  to  promote  the  friendly  intercourse  between 
the  Nations,  and  I  do  not  know  that  it  could  produce  any 
material  inconvenience  to  either.  But  it  would  be  necessary 
to  have  an  Act  of  Parliament  to  confirm  the  stipulation  here, 
which,  his  Lordship  says,  may  be  obtained  without  difficulty. 
A  more  material  obstacle  arises  from  the  Constitution  of  the 
United  States,  with  one  clause  of  which  such  an  Article  would 
certainly  militate. 

This  nobleman,  who,  during  the  American  contest,  was  so 
conspicuous  in  his  opposition  to  our  principles  and  pretensions, 
by  the  name  of  Wedderburn,  has  assured  Mr.  Jay  that  at 
present,  that  controversy  having  been  once  determined  and  the 
point  of  separation  settled,  his  dispositions  are  perfectly  friendly 
towards  America ;  that  he  thinks  it  for  the  interest  of  both 
countries  to  assimilate  and  draw  together  as  much  as  possible ; 
and  that  his  sincere  wishes  are  to  facilitate  the  most  liberal  and 
amicable  intercourse. 

The  proposition  which  I  have  mentioned,  and  several  others 
of  inferior  importance  but  equal  liberality,  seem  to  prove  that 
his  assurances  are  not  disingenuous  or  false.  And  I  think  the 
intention  of  every  man,  who  aims  at  levelling  the  barriers  which 
perpetuate  the  unnecessary  separation  of  Nations,  and  widen 
the  distance  between  man  and  man,  is  at  least  deserving  of 
applause. 

We  dined  with  Mr.  Pinckney.  Mr.  Rutledge,  and  a  Mr.  Deas 
of  Carolina,  were  of  the  company,  as  were  also  Mr.  and  Mrs. 
C.  There  was  nothing  particular  observable  in  the  former 
gentleman,  and  C.  is  the  same  prating  coxcomb  that  he  was 
ten  years  ago,  though  not  quite  so  boisterous.  He  rattled  away 
like  a  parrot,  against  the  Ministry,  who  he  said  had  no  capacity, 
and  defied  the  whole  world  to  show  one  single  wise  measure 
they  had  adopted,  since  they  entered  into  this  foolish  war. 

The  conversation  happening  to  turn  upon  the  success  of  Lord 
Cornwallis  in  India,  C.  affirmed  that  the  Marquis  was  not 
entitled  to  any  credit  at  all  for  what  he  had  done  there.  It 
was  impossible  for  him  not  to  succeed.  He  went  out  with  a 
force  infinitely  superior  to  any  that  had  ever  been  employed  in 


1 794]  THE   MISSION   TO  HOLLAND.  5I 

that  country  before,  and  the  nations  he  subdued  were  totally 
unfit  for  war,  and  unable  to  contend  with  European  forces. 
Lord  Clive  had  done  a  thousand  times  more,  with  means  incom- 
parably smaller.  Mr.  Jay  told  him,  he  undervalued  the  charac- 
ter of  the  Indians,  and  said  that  he  had  always  had  a  regard  for 
Tippoo  Saib.and  his  father  Hyder  Ali.  "And  for  my  part,"  he 
added,  "  I  always  wished  them  success."  I  was  happy  that  in 
this  respect  my  opinion  coincided  with  Mr.  Jay,  notwithstand- 
ing C.'s  confident  assurance.  His  anti-ministerial  invectives 
^carried  an  appearance  of  affectation,  as  if  he  thought  they  gave 
him  a  kind  of  importance.  In  short,  I  can  safely  apply  to  him 
the  observation  which  Dr.  Johnson  made  respecting  Churchill, 
upon  being  told  that  he  had  lampooned  him  under  the  name 
of  Pomposo — "I  always  thought  him  a  shallow  fellow;  and  I 
still  think  him  so." 

When  I  came  home,  for  the  first  time  since  my  arrival  here, 
I  began  upon  my  letters  to  America. 

24th.  Wrote  letters,  paid  a  few  visits,  and  at  five,  went  to  dine 
with  Mr.  W.  Vaughan.  We  found  his  father  at  his  house.  His 
brother  Ben,  it  seems,  is  in  Switzerland.  The  father  is  anti- 
ministerial,  but  finds  it  necessary  to  keep  his  opinions  much  to 
himself.  He  toasted  the  King,  an  external  mark  of  loyalty, 
which  no  Englishman  thinks  himself  at  liberty  to  omit.  He 
drank  the  Duke  of  Portland,  whom  he  acknowledged  to  be  a 
chaste  character.  But  when  General  Washington  was  given, 
he  filled  his  bumper  to  the  brim,  and  took  it  off  with  an  appear- 
ance of  enthusiasm,  which  nothing  before  had  excited.  "Na- 
turam  expellas  furca."  The  voice  of  a  people  accustomed  to 
the  enjoyment  of  freedom  may  be  silenced,  but  the  real  senti- 
ment will  discover  itself  in  other  language  than  words.  Mr. 
Bird,  with  whom  we  dined  at  Vallence,  and  his  brother,  were 
present.  They  are,  I  think,  more  friendly  to  this  Government, 
though  well  disposed  towards  America. 

25th.  Dined  with  Mr.  Ward  N.  Boylston,  in  Barnard's  Inn, 
where  he  kept  Bachelor's  hall.  Captain  Mungo  Mackay,  Junior, 
of  Boston,  Mr.  Walker,  our  fellow  passenger  in  the  Alfred,  and 
an  English  gentleman,  were  there.  Our  dinner  was  properly 
American,  consisting  of  salt  fish,  and   beef  steaks,  after  the 


52  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [October, 

manner  of  our  country.  Boylston  is  a  little  of  the  virtuoso  as 
usual — shewed  us  several  curiosities  in  his  possession — gave 
us  some  of  the  genuine  water  of  the  Nile,  which  was  clear  as 
crystal,  and  sweet  as  if  drawn  from  a  living  spring ;  and  bread 
made  of  potatoes,  which  I  could  not  have  distinguished  from 
the  best  superfine  flour.  He  was  economical  of  his  Nile  water, 
having  only  part  of  a  bottle  left.  We  all  tasted  of  it  except 
Mackay,  who  found  a  better  relish  in  the  excellent  Madeira  on 
the  table,  and  who  would  not,  while  this  could  be  had,  have 
tasted  a  drop  of  water,  were  it  from  the  fountain  of  Hippocrene. 
itself. 

Boylston's  conversation  is  entertaining.  He  has  travelled 
into  the  Holy  Land,  and  gave  us  quite  an  amusing  account  of 
his  pilgrimage.  He  has  accumulated  a  great  fund  of  anecdote 
upon  every  usual  topic,  and  favoured  us  with  much  of  it  this 
day.  He  is  very  conversable,  and  talked  upon  so  great  a  variety 
of  subjects,  that  I  should  despair  of  doing  justice  to  him,  if  I 
attempted  to  detail  his  observations.1 

His  uncle  Tom.  Boylston  paid  me  a  visit  this  morning.  He 
has  lately  been  liberated  from  the  King's  Bench  prison,  stripped 
of  his  fortune  of  nearly  three  hundred  thousand  pounds  sterling, 
and  reduced  to  a  modicum,  much  beyond  his  wants,  but  fatal 
to  the  hopes  of  his  ambition.2  He  told  us  of  his  will,  made 
before  his  misfortune,  and  valued  himself  highly  upon  the  mag- 
nificent things  he  meant  to  have  done  for  the  Town  of  Boston, 
and  the  State  of  Massachusetts.  He  seems  to  think  the  bare 
design  entitles  him  to  all  the  gratitude  which  could  have  been 
due  to  its  execution,  and  wondered  exceedingly  that  after  all 
he  had  done  for  my  country,  I  should  scruple  at  giving  him  a 
certificate  of  his  being  a  citizen  of  the  United  States.  I  am  far 
from  being  certain  of  the  fact,  or  I  should  have  complied  with 

1  This  gentleman  subsequently  returned  to  Massachusetts,  where  he  survived 
until  the  year  182S.  His  name  is  still  remembered  at  Cambridge,  by  his  benefac- 
tions to  Harvard  University, — esteemed  quite  liberal  for  that  day. 

2  He  lost  this  large  property  by  a  decision  in  Chancery,  conceded  since  to  have 
been  erroneous.  But  the  will  referred  to  was  so  eccentric  in  its  nature,  that  the 
town  of  Boston  may  be  esteemed  fortunate  to  have  escaped  the  obligation  to  accept 
it.  Even  as  it  was,  it  proved  fruitful  of  litigation,  the  evidence  of  which  abounds 
in  the  reports  of  proceedings  in  the  Massachusetts  courts. 


1794]  THE   MISSION   TO   HOLLAND.  53 

his  request,  without  hesitation.  He  says  that  he  is  generally 
considered  here  as  an  American  spy,  but  I  imagine  his  real 
character  is  as  extensively  known  as  his  name.  It  is  that  of  a 
man  whose  habits  in  his  prosperity  might  have  furnished  a 
comic  poet  with  ample  improvement  upon  the  scenes  of  Plautus 
or  Moliere — a  man  in  comparison  with  whom  Harpagon  was 
generous,  and  Harpax  a  prodigal.  He  was  however  very  civil 
to  me,  and  invited  me  to  dine  with  him.  But  our  immediate 
departure  for  the  Hague  prevented  me  from  accepting  his 
invitation. 

Mr.  Edmund  Jennings1  also  called  on  me  this  day.  He  looks 
older  than  when  I  saw  him  last,  by  more  than  the  difference  of 
eleven  years  ;  and  there  appears  upon  his  countenance  some- 
thing which  I  think  savours  of  dejection.  He  thinks  that  this 
nation,  from  the  sovereign  to  the  beggar,  have  a  most  inveterate 
hatred  against  America.  I  can  hardly  believe  this  to  be  the 
case.  But  it  is  nearer  the  truth  than  another  opinion  which  I 
have  frequently  heard  advanced,  since  my  arrival ;  that  this  peo- 
ple are  uniformly  friendly  to  us,  and  scarcely  consider  us  as  a 
different  nation  from  themselves.  We  have  abundant  reason 
to  be  convinced  to  the  contrary  of  this,  and  I  am  satisfied 
they  have  not  yet  forgiven  us  the  injuries  we  have  suffered  at 
their  hands.  Jennings  says  that  he  has  it  from  such  authority 
as  is  satisfactory  to  his  own  mind,  that  during  the  successes 
which  attended  the  allied  arms  the  last  autumn,  when  they 
were  feasting  their  imaginations  with  the  immediate  conquest 
of  France,  the  King  expected  that  as  soon  as  that  scheme 
should  be  accomplished,  the  force  of  the  same  alliance  would 
be  applied  to  the  restoration  of  his  dominion  in  America. 

He  spoke  of  the  approaching  trials  for  treason.2  Upon  these 
indictments,  he  said,  It  was  a  violently  constructive  treason — but 
it  would  do  !  It  would  do  for  these  times  !  He  expected  many 
of  the  prisoners,  if  not  all  of  them,  would  be  found  guilty  and 
condemned  and  perhaps  executed.     But  Hampden  was  found 

1  Of  this  gentleman,  a  fruitful  source  of  dissension  between  the  diplomatic  agents 
of  America  during  the  Revolution,  little  is  now  known  beyond  what  may  be  gath- 
ered from  their  published  correspondence  and  some  pamphlets  now  very  rare. 

J  Of  Watt  and  Downie,  John  Home  Tooke,  Thelwall,  and  others. 


54  MEMOIRS   OF   JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [October, 

guilty.  Russell  and  Sidney  were  found  guilty.  Sacheverell 
was  found  guilty.  But  it  was  remembered.  This  Government 
have  drawn,  and  still  draw  the  reins  of  power  so  tight  that  they 
will  break.  There  will  be  an  explosion  before  long.  The  com- 
pletion of  this  prediction  would  not,  I  confess,  surprise  me. 
The  extraordinary  agitation  of  the  Government,  its  apparent 
anxiety,  and  their  present  recourse  to  these  measures  of  terror, 
strongly  betray  their  consciousness  that  there  is  something 
rotten  at  the  heart.  But  how  Mr.  Jennings  came  to  mention 
Sacheverell  among  his  list  of  patriots  oppressed,  I  am  at  a  loss 
to  conjecture. 

26th.  After  writing  all  the  forenoon,  at  half-past  three  we 
went  to  dine  at  Mr.  Hallow-ell's.1  His  Lady  is  very  much  of  an 
invalid,  but  dined  with  us.  Their  son  Boylston,  their  daughter, 
and  Miss  Fowler,  a  young  lady  from  the  country,  constituted 
with  us  the  company.  Miss  Hallowell  is  very  accomplished, 
and  converses  with  great  ease  and  dignity  of  manners,  but  is 
not  very  handsome.  She  spoke  of  my  mother  in  terms  so  af- 
fectionate, as  could  not  fail  to  give  me  the  highest  pleasure  ; 
for  I  know  of  nothing  that  can  give  more  sincere  delight, 
than  to  hear  the  praise  of  those  we  love.  That  heart  must  in- 
deed be  strangely  constituted,  that  can  know  my  mother  with- 
out being  sensible  of  her  excellence ;  but  the  sincerity  which 
marked  the  warm  expressions  of  regard  used  by  Miss  Hallowell 
respecting  her,  indicated  to  me  a  congenial  disposition  to  that 
which  she  so  justly  admired. 

27th.  Mr.  W.  Vaughan  called  on  us  this  morning,  and  en- 
gaged us  to  dine  with  his  father  at  Hackney  to-morrow.  Dined 
at  Mr.  Copley's2 — with  Mr.  Erving  and  his  son,  whom. I  knew 
last  year  in  America,  Mr.  Clarke,  Mrs.  Copley's  father,  their  son, 
and  two  daughters.     The  eldest  daughter  may  be  called  hand- 

1  Mr.  Hallowell  had  been  collector  of  the  customs  at  Boston  prior  to  the  Revolu- 
tion, and  left  it  on  the  breaking  out  of  that  event.  His  wife  and  the  writer's  grand- 
mother were  kinswomen,  named  Boylston.  The  son  here  alluded  to,  the  same 
person  referred  to  on  page  51,  had  taken  the  name  in  default  of  male  descendants 
in  the  other  branches  of  the  family. 

2  John  Singleton  Copley,  the  artist,  and  father  of  the  Lord  Chancellor  of  the 
same  name,  left  America  prior  to  the  Revolution,  and  established  himself  in  Lon- 
don, where  he  died  at  an  advanced  age  in  1815. 


I794-]  TIIE   MISSION   TO   HOLLAND.  55 

some,  if  not  beautiful,  and  is  very  pleasing  in  her  manners. 
There  is  something  so  fascinating  in  the  women  I  meet  with  in 
this  country,  that  it  is  well  for  me  I  am  obliged  immediately  to 
leave  it. 

The  packet  from  Harwich  to  Helvoetsluys  is  to  sail  on 
Wednesday,  in  the  afternoon.  I  had  concluded  to  leave  the 
City  early  enough  on  that  morning,  to  reach  Harwich  in  time 
to  take  my  passage.  But  I  was  told  this  day,  that  I  should  find 
it  difficult,  if  not  impracticable,  to  get  there  in  season  on  the 
same  day.  As  the  situation  of  affairs  in  Holland  is  at  this  time 
so  very  critical,  I  have  determined  to  lose  no  time  in  transport- 
ing myself  thither.  I  resolved  therefore  to  avoid  all  risk  of 
arriving  at  Harwich  too  late  for  the  packet  on  Wednesday,  and 
for  that  purpose  to  leave  town  to-morrow  at  2  p.m.  and  go  about 
25  miles  on  the  way,  so  as  to  have  an  easy  day  on  Wednesday. 
I  retired  therefore  early  in  the  evening  from  Mr.  Copley's,  to 
prepare  for  my  departure. 

28th.  I  found,  notwithstanding  I  had  taken  great  pains  to  be 
ready  for  this  day,  that  I  had  a  great  deal  of  business  crowded 
into  the  last  five  or  six  hours. 

I  called  early  this  morning  upon  Mr.  Jay.  In  the  first  place, 
having  received  no  answer  to  a  letter  I  wrote  the  American 
bankers  at  Amsterdam  on  my  arrival,  for  a  draught  to  give  me 
a  pecuniary  supply  here,  I  found  myself  rather  short  in  the 
necessary  article  of  cash.  I  knew  of  no  person  upon  whom 
I  could  more  confidently  venture  to  call  than  Mr.  Jay,  and 
found  myself  not  disappointed  in  my  idea.  He  very  readily 
gave  me  the  draught  I  requested,  and  offered  to  extend  his 
goodness.  I  thought  best,  however,  to  take  only  a  supply  for 
my  immediate  occasion,  feeling  highly  obliged  to  him  for  this 
additional  instance  of  his  friendship. 

I  then  requested  him  to  favor  me  with  his  advice  respect- 
ing the  conduct  which  in  my  public  character  it  would  be 
proper  to  hold  during  the  crisis  in  which  that  country  now 
stands.  He  was  equally  indulgent  on  that  head,  and  I  believe 
I  shall  derive  much  benefit  from  his  counsel.  He  said  that  I 
should  stand  in  a  situation  extremely  delicate ;  that  the  par- 
ties  which  so   unhappily  divide  that  country,  to  which  I  am 


56  MEMOIRS    OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [October, 

sent,  might  very  possibly  press  me  hard  on  either  side  to  show 
some  preference  or  partiality;  that  I  ought  very  cautiously 
to  avoid  it,  and  take  no  part  whatever  in  their  internal  dissen- 
sions ;  that  as  to  the  possible  revolution  in  Government  to 
which  they  are  now  particularly  exposed,  in  case  an  essential 
change  should  take  place,  the  operation  of  my  functions  would 
cease  of  course,  and  it  would  not  be  advisable  for  me,  upon 
any  terms  whatever,  to  do  business  with  any  new  power  that 
might  arise,  until  I  should  receive  instructions  upon  the  sub- 
ject; and  in  the  meantime,  I  might  write  as  soon  as  possible 
for  eventual  instructions  ;  that  if  the  French  should  obtain 
complete  possession  of  Holland,  and  the  Government  of  the 
country  be  actually  dissolved,  my  best  way  will  be  to  stay 
there,  if  I  can  with  any  possible  convenience;  but  if  I  should 
be  under  the  necessity  of  quitting  the  country,  it  will  be  more 
proper  for  me  to  retire  to  Hamburg,  as  a  neutral  city,  than  to 
come  to  England,  or  go  to  France,  which  might  give  occasion 
for  censure,  or  at  least  for  observations  that  would  be  unpleas- 
ant. And  if  the  conquest  should  be  so  thoroughly  completed 
as  to  extinguish  the  independence  of  the  Nation  itself,  I  may 
return  home,  rather  than  wait  any  great  length  of  time  for  the 
regular  recall. 

29th.  The  road  from  London  to  Harwich  is  not  so  much 
travelled  as  that  between  Dover  and  the  Capital;  though  it  has 
been  very  much  so,  for  several  months,  by  the  passing  to  and 
from  the  army  on  the  continent.  The  roads  are  very  little 
inferior,  but  the  Inns,  though  very  good,  are  not  quite  in  a  style 
of  such  perfect  accommodation.  The  country  is  not  in  such 
exquisite  cultivation,  but  is  yet  enchantingly  beautiful ;  and 
the  delightful  prospects,  which  with  endless  variety  appear  in 
the  most  rapid  succession,  still  exhibit  to  the  admiration  of  the 
traveller  scenes  which  almost  realize  the  fictions  of  a  fairy  land. 

It  was  about  four  in  the  afternoon  when  we  reached  the 
packet,  and  by  five  we  were  fairly  under  weigh,  with  a  small 
but  favorable  wind.  The  vessel  was  almost  as  quiet  as  if  we 
had  been  on  land.  Our  passengers  are  twenty-five  in  number, 
and  every  name,  language,  and  country,  seem  to  be  jumbled 
together  in  one  cabin. 


1794]  THE   MISSION   TO   HOLLAND.  57 

For  the  twenty-five  cabin  passengers  there  are  only  sixteen 
beds,  and  the  rest  are  to  get  their  rest  on  the  floor,  as  well  as 
they  can.  There  is  one  passage  with  two  beds  only,  for  the 
accommodation  of  ladies.  They  were  taken  by  a  Dutch  West 
Indian  lady  from  Surinam,  and  a  negro  wench  she  has  with 
her.  Mr.  East,  one  of  the  King's  messengers,  a  number  of 
British  officers  going  to  the  Army,  these  West  Indians,  a 
Dutchman  belonging  to  the  Hague,  a  German  Baron,  French- 
men, Italians,  Irishmen,  Jews,  &c,  &c,  all  seem  huddled  to- 
gether, as  if  the  confusion  of  Babel  was  about  to  return.  At 
about  nine  in  the  evening,  I  was  compelled  to  seek  my  berth, 
for  it  was  too  cold  to  remain  upon  deck  ;  and  below,  the  bed, 
though  barely  of  a  size  to  contain  a  single  person,  was  at  least 
as  roomy  as  any  part  of  the  cabin,  crowded  as  it  was. 

30th.  A  fresh  wind  sprang  up  in  the  night,  and  carried  us 
over  with  such  rapidity  that  soon  after  daybreak  we  made  the 
land  on  the  coast  of  Holland — but,  though  not  more  than  four 
leagues  distant  from  the  shore,  it  was  not  till  afternoon  that  we 
reached  it.  The  weather  had  grown  extremely  chilly  and 
rainy,  and  the  wind  early  in  the  morning  became  adverse. 
About  noon  a  number  of  passengers  went  ashore  in  boats  which 
came  from  the  land ;  we  were  beating ;  and  as  long  as  a  single 
passenger  seemed  disposed  to  go  in  the  boats,  we  could  not 
possibly  get  into  the  Port.  But  when  all  those  who  were  in 
such  a  hurry  to  get  ashore  were  gone,  and  those  of  us  alone 
remained,  who  were  determined  to  remain  on  board,  we  got  in 
immediately.  But  although  we  were  within  ten  paces  of  the 
wharf  and  it  was  difficult  to  avoid  reaching  it,  the  anchor  was 
dropped  so  a  propos,  that  we  could  not  land  without  calling 
for  a  boat  from  the  shore.  At  Helvoetsluys,  we  found  all  the 
miserable  taverns  so  full,  that  we  found  with  difficulty  a  house 
to  give  a  temporary  shelter  from  the  rain  for  our  baggage. 
The  Commissaire  rang  his  bell,  and  immediately  half  a  dozen 
or  more  waggons  appeared.  The  tray  and  three  dice  were 
produced,  and  the  boers  alternately  threw  for  the  lucky  chance 
of  shewing  us  insolence  and  extortion.  Our  company  of  the 
packet  boat  had  by  this  time  considerably  dispersed.  East 
was  already  gone   forward.      Some  stopped   for  the  night  at 


58  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN   QUINCY  ADAMS.  [October. 

Helvoet,  and  others  got  away  before  us.  The  waggons  were 
light  and  open,  and  drawn  by  four  stout  horses  to  each  of  them. 
Six  of  us  were  permitted  to  take  one  waggon,  but  the  driver 
insisted  that  our  baggage  was  too  heavy ;  that  we  must  either 
take  another  waggon  between  us,  or  walk  on  foot  ourselves. 
My  knowledge  of  the  language  was  next  to  nothing,  that  of  my 
brother's  servant  literally  nothing.  We  abandoned  ourselves, 
therefore,  to  the  conduct  of  two  Dutch  gentlemen,  the  one 
named  Van  den  Berg,  and  the  other  Fortus.  After  the  latter 
had  contested  some  time  with  the  boer,  whether  the  waggon 
would  or  would  not  be  too  heavily  laden  with  our  weight  and 
that  of  our  baggage,  he  persisted  in  his  opinion,  and  began  to 
ascend  the  carriage.  The  boer,  without  ceremony,  unhooks 
his  four  horses,  and  was  driving  them  off.  He  knew  that 
would  bring  us  to  terms.  It  is  an  invariable  expedient  with 
them.  I  have  seen  it  often  tried,  and  never  fail,  because  the 
traveller  in  such  cases  has  no  remedy  but  acquiescence.  For- 
tus, therefore,  called  back  the  boer,  and  appealed  to  the  Com- 
missaire.  But  his  opinion  was,  that,  the  roads  being  very  heavy, 
the  waggons  would  only  go  the  pace,  and  it  would  be  much 
more  comfortable  to  go  to  the  Briel  on  foot,  which  we  did 
accordingly. 

We  had  only  English  money  about  us.  Guineas  being  in 
great  demand,  a  Jew  offered  my  brother  twelve  guilders  four 
stivers  apiece  for  any  he  might  wish  to  change.  Fortus  thought 
it  was  not  enough,  and  said  he  would  change  one  himself.  He 
accordingly  took  one  of  my  brother,  for  which  he  gave  him 
twelve  guilders,  changed  it  again  with  a  Jew  for  twelve  and 
six,  keeping  the  odd  stivers,  I  presume,  for  his  kindness. 

We  walked  to  the  Briel  a  distance  of  about  six  miles.  Our 
company  again  separated  here.  Mr.  Fortus  conducted  us  to 
a  house  kept  by  an  old  Scotsman  named  Lesley.  Mr.  Van 
den  Berg  lodges  at  the  Doele. 

31st.  We  took  this  morning  the  boat  to  cross  the  ferry  at 
the  Briel,  with  Mr.  Van  den  Berg,  the  only  one  of  our  fellow 
passengers  who  yet  keeps  us  company,  as  he  belongs  to  the 
Hague.  After  passing  the  river,  we  took  carriage  and  crossed 
a  second  ferry,  at  Maaslandsluys.     We  here  took   the  treck- 


1795]  THE   MISSION   TO   HOLLAND.  59 

schuyt  to  Delft,  and  from  thence  to  the  Hague,  where  we 
arrived  about  five  in  the  afternoon,  and  where  we  took  lodg- 
ings at  the  Keyzer's  Hoff. 

January  1st.  Visited,  in  compliance  with  the  custom,  the 
President  of  the  States  General,  the  first  noble  of  Holland,  Count 
Wassenaar  Starrenburg  ;  the  Councillor  Pensionary  of  Holland, 
Van  de  Spiegel,  and,  in  the  absence  of  the  Greffier  Fagel,  Mr. 
Van  Lelyveld,  commis  of  the  States  General.  The  President 
and  Mr.  Lelyveld  were  not  at  home,  whereupon  I  left  cards. 
The  latter,  immediately  after,  returned  my  visit  by  a  card.  Be- 
tween two  and  three,  went  to  Court,  and  soon  had  audience  of 
the  Prince  Stadtholder.  I  have  reason  to  be  satisfied  with  the  re- 
ception I  have  hitherto  met  with  there.  At  about  ten  this  evening 
had  a  visit  by  card  from  Mr.  Plenti,  Charge  d'Affaires  of  Sardinia. 

4th.  Returned  Mr.  Plenti's  visit.  Found  him  under  the 
greatest  apprehensions.  Cold  still  severe.1  Coming  out  of  the 
Heeren  Logement,  saw  two  travelling  Court  carriages  without 
baggage,  window  blinds  up,  one  servant  by  the  side  of  the 
coachman,  going  out  of  town.  Mr.  Bourne  dined  with  us.  Mr. 
Mersen  came  in  after  dinner.  Mentioned  the  Princesses  were 
to  go  on  Tuesday  to  Soesdyk,  to  meet  the  Princess  of  Bruns- 
wick, the  destined  bride  to  the  Prince  of  Wales.  Perhaps  the 
Prince  Stadtholder  might  go  with  them.  Perhaps  they  may  go 
this  night.  These  things  show  the  danger  apprehended  at  the 
present  moment. 

1 8th.  To  Amsterdam  with  the  Post  Waggon  at  nine  in  the 
morning.  Arrived  at  Amsterdam  about  4  p.m. — found  it  a 
moment  of  crisis.  Saw  Mr.  Bourne  several  times  in  the  even- 
ing. Mr.  Willink,  Mr.  McEvers,  Mr.  Hubbard,  Mr.  Plenti, 
who  appears  very  much  embarrassed  how  to  get  away,  and 
afraid  of  being  stopped.  Some  symptoms  of  agitation  among 
the  people.  General  Golofkin,  Commander  of  the  garrison 
here,  received  this  morning  from  General  Daandels,  Com- 
mander of  the  Batavian  Corps,  an  order  to  surrender,  and  lay 
down  their  arms.     A  Batavian,   by  the   name  of  Krayenhoff, 

1  The  severity  of  this  weather  had  been  such  as  greatly  to  facilitate  the  advance 
of  the  French  forces  over  the  inundated  land. 


60  MEMOIRS    OF   JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [January, 

who  fled  lately  from  this  City,  and  is  cited  to  appear  on  Tues- 
day next  before  the  Court  of  Schepens,  came  this  afternoon; 
exhibited  to  the  Regency  a  commission  constituting  him 
Commander  of  this  City.  He  demands  of  the  Magistrates  to 
abdicate  their  authority.  In  the  evening,  the  three-colored 
cockade  began  to  make  its  appearance  in  the  streets;  they  were 
noisy  through  the  night.  The  Carmagnole  song,  and  the  Mar- 
seillaise hymn,  were  everywhere  singing.  But  no  mischief  of 
any  kind  took  place. 

19th.  A  noisy  and  tumultuous  day,  but  witness  to  no  vio- 
lence, as  was  apprehended.  At  about  ten  in  the  morning,  a 
detachment  of  twenty-five  or  thirty  French  hussars  appeared 
before  the  Stadt  House.  The  tree  of  Liberty  was  planted,  the 
national  flag  displayed  from  its  summit.  A  provisional  munici- 
pality of  twenty  persons  appointed  by  the  revolutionary  Com- 
mittee, commenced  their  operations  by  dismissing  the  Regency. 
In  the  afternoon,  the  State  prisoners  lately  confined  were 
released,  and  Mr.  Visscher  appointed  Grand  Baillif  of  the 
provisional  administration.  The  former  guards  and  patroles 
are  yet  continued.  Everybody  else  wears  the  three-colored 
cockade.  Dined  at  Mr.  Willink's.  Mr.  Bourne,  Mr.  Hubbard-, 
Mr.  McEvers,  and  a  Dutch  gentleman  and  lady  unknown. 
Towards  the  evening,  a  troop  of  the  people  passing  the  house, 
gave  it  a  cheer,  and  made  demand  of  some  money  to  drink, 
which  Mr.  Willink  accordingly  gave.  Conversation  with 
Messrs.  Willink  and  Hubbard  respecting  our  American  affairs. 

20th.  The  day  perfectly  tranquil.  Everything  hitherto  has 
passed  without  the  smallest  disorder.  General  Pichegru,  and 
about  two  or  three  thousand  of  the  French  troops,  entered  the 
City  this  afternoon.  The  General  is  lodged  at  the  house  of 
Mr.  Hope,  which  was  vacant.  The  Commissioners  lodge  next 
door  at  Mr.  Muilman's.  The  troops  are  quartered  upon  the 
citizens.  Any  further  arrangements,  civil  and  military,  are 
equally  unknown. 

2 1  st.  Conversation  with  Mr.  Bourne  upon  the  state  of  affairs. 
He  was  to  dine  with  us,  but  was  called  away  to  the  Stad  house, 
to  a  public  dinner,  given  to  the  Representans  du  peuple  Fran- 
cois.    Mr.  McEvers  dined  with  us.      He  went  afterwards  with 


1795]  THE   MISSION   TO  HOLLAND.  6l 

my  brother  to  the  play,  which  opens  this  evening  with  "Gaston 
et  Bayard,"  in  Dutch.  The  news  there  received  of  Breda  and 
Bergen  op  Zoom  being  taken.     Acclamations  thereupon. 

22d.  Paid  a  visit  with  Mr.  Bourne  and  my  brother,  to  the 
Representans  du  peuple  Francais,  and  was  received  with  civil- 
ity. Principally  complimentary  in  their  fashionable  cant,  which 
I  adopted  in  all  its  forms.  They  told  me  they  received  the 
visit  of  the  citoyen  Ministry  of  a  free  people,  the  friend  of  the 
peuple  francais,  with  much  pleasure.  That  they  considered  it 
tout  a  fait  as  a  visitc  J rater -nclle.  I  told  them  that  hearing  of 
their  arrival,  I  felt  myself  obliged  to  present  my  respects«to  the 
Citoyens  Representans  of  the  peuple  francais,  for  whom  my 
fellow  citizens  have  the  greatest  attachment,  and  to  whom  they 
were  grateful  for  the  obligations  under  which  they  felt  them- 
selves to  the  French  nation,  &c.  The  substance  of  the  business 
was,  that  I  demanded  safety  and  protection  to  all  American  per- 
sons and  property  in  this  country ;  and  that  they  told  me  it 
would  be  under  their  safeguard  in  common  with  those  of  the 
country,  and  of  other  strangers  here;  that  all  property  would 
invariably  be  respected,  as  well  as  persons  and  opinions ;  that 
if  hereafter  there  should  be  any  occasion  for  exceptions,  they 
would  make  the  strongest  representations  to  their  constituents 
in  behalf  of  Americans.  They  spoke  of  the  President,  whom, 
like  all  Europeans,  they  called  General  Washington.  Enquired 
his  age,  and  on  being  told,  said  he  might  still  long  enjoy  his 
glory ;  that  he  was  a  great  man,  and  they  had  great  venera- 
tion for  his  character.  They  observed  that  a  Treaty  of  Com- 
merce had  lately  been  concluded,  between  Great  Britain  and 
the  United  States,  by  Mr.  Jay.  They  were  emulous  to  surpass 
one  another  in  expressions  of  inveteracy  against  England.  One 
said  she  was  their  most  obstinate  enemy  ;  another,  that  she 
was  their  only  remaining  enemy;  a  third,  that  she  had  always 
been  their  enemy;  a  fourth,  that  she  was  the  enemy  of  all  the 
maritime  powers.  They  said,  however,  that  America,  not  having 
a  Navy  sufficient  to  protect  her  commerce  against  Britain,  and 
having  no  possessions  of  that  power  near  them,  which  she  could 
attack  by  land,  was  right  in  maintaining  peace.  They  acquiesced 
in  the  observation  of  Mr.  Bourne,  that  this  peace  was  even  for 


62  MEMOIRS    OF  JOHN   QUINCY  ADAMS.  [January, 

the  interest  of  France,  because  it  enabled  us  to  supply  her  with 
provisions  and  other  necessary  articles,  which,  in  case  we  were 
at  war,  could  not  be  done. 

They  spoke  of  Mr.  Monroe's  reception  by  the  National  Con- 
vention. "  Parbleu,"  said  one,  "  it  was  a  scene  attendrissante." 
It  was  "  une  dcsplusfamenscs  seances"  of  the  Convention.  There 
were  more  than  ten  thousand  persons  present.  "  He  shed  tears, 
he  was  so  much  affected.  I  saw  him  cry."  "  Ah!"  said  another, 
"  e'etait  aussi  bien  de  quoi  faire  pleurer."  Then  they  said  one 
of  the  flags  had  been  sent  to  America.  In  short,  the  national 
character  appeared  in  nothing  more  conspicuous  than  in  the 
manner  in  which  they  spoke  of  this  occurrence. 

They  inquired  if  Mr.  Morris  was  in  Switzerland.  I  answered 
them,  I  did  not  know  ;  that  I  had  no  personal  acquaintance  with 
Mr.  Morris.1  "  Ah  !"  said  the  Citoyen,  who  appeared  to  be  at  the 
head  of  the  deputation,  "  La  France  sait  parfaitement  qu'il  est 
en  Suisse."  He  spoke  with  peculiar  emphasis,  but  I  did  not 
think  proper  to  make  any  further  enquiry  of  him  on  the  subject. 

They  asked  me  if  I  had  ever  been  in  France.  I  answered 
that  I  had.  That  I  received  part  of  my  education,  and  had  re- 
sided there  several  years ;  that  I  had  therefore  from  my  infancy 
every  possible  reason  to  form  sentiments  of  admiration  and  of 
affection  for  the  French  nation.  Whereupon  they  replied  that 
the  Representans  du  peuple  Frangais  were  delighted  to  hear 
me  say  so.  Thus  ended  the  conversation,  upon  which  we  with- 
drew. Mr.  Faesch  paid  me  a  visit,  and  mentioned  some  particu- 
lars of  the  Stadtholder's  quitting  the  Hague.  The  circumstance 
appears  to  affect  him. 

23d.  Weather  still  excessively  cold.  Dined  with  Mr.  Hub- 
bard. Went  in  the  afternoon  with  Mr.  W.  Willink  to  the  con- 
cert "  felix  mentis,"  a  patriotic  society,  where  the  Representans 
du  peuple  Francais,  the  Etat  Major,  etc.,  were  present.  Mr. 
Visscher,  who  has  now  the  post  of  Grand  Officier,  was  there. 
The   Marseillaise  hymn  was  very  well  performed.     There  was 

1  Gouvemeur  Morris,  the  first  Envoy  from  the  United  States  to  France  after  the 
adoption  of  the  federal  Constitution.  He  had  somewhat  committed  Ills  neutral 
position  by  sharing  in  the  counsels  of  the  sovereign  and  the  court,  in  consequence 
of  which  he  was  ultimately  recalled. 


1795]  T//E   MISSION   TO   HOLLAND.  63 

some  clapping  of  hands,  some  testimonies  of  applause,  but  they 
were  faint,  cold,  and  lifeless.     Yet  all  here  were  patriots. 

I  forgot  to  observe,  that  as  we  were  going  to  Mr.  Hubbard's 
we  saw  a  Jew  lying  in  the  street,  apparently  at  the  point  of 
death.  Three  or  four  persons  were  around  him,  Christians 
and  Jews,  who  seemed  to  throw  upon  each  other  the  burden 
of  giving  him  any  assistance  whatever.  They  said  he  had  the 
falling  sickness ;  but  upon  a  piece  of  bread  being  held  to  his 
mouth,  the  convulsive  manner  in  which  he  snapped  at  it,  though 
he  had  apparently  lost  his  senses,  discovered  that  his  only  fall- 
ing sickness  was  hunger.  After  some  altercation  whose  business 
it  was  to  relieve  him,  he  was  carried  into  a  neighbouring  tavern, 
and  recommended  to  the  care  of  the  woman  who  kept  it. 

24th.  Visited  Mr.  Schimmelpenninck  this  morning  at  nine, 
and  had  a  short  conversation  with  him  upon  the  present  state  of 
affairs.  He  said  he  believed  the  substance  of  the  old  institutions 
would  still  be  retained  here,  simply  changing  the  high-sounding 
names  for  more  civic  expressions.  That  the  French  Commis- 
saires  concurred  in  the  opinion  with  them,  that  this  would  be 
the  best  provisional  mode  of  proceeding,  and  had  promised  to 
support  them  in  it. 

25th.  At  home  the  whole  day,  writing.  Visit  from  Mr.  Bourne, 
Mr.  Dutilh,  Mr.  S.  Gravenswerd,  Mr.  Alstorphius,  who  appears 
to  be  in  fine  spirits.  Patriote  a  bruler,  he  said  he  was,  when  I 
was  here  before.  He  is  much  pleased  with  his  French  visitors  ; 
and  as  to  the  quartering  of  the  troops,  he  tells  his  neighbors, 
if  they  do  not  like  their  guests,  to  send  them  to  him. 

26th.  Visit  to  Mr.  VV.  Willink,  who  was  not  at  home,  but  at 
whose  house  I  found  his  brother  John.  He  has  within  these 
few  days  lost  his  father-in-law,  and  appears  to  be  affected  with 
the  misfortune.  The  eldest  brother  is  on  the  new  Committee 
of  Finance.  He  says  the  new  States  of  Holland  are  to  meet 
immediately  at  the  Hague.  The  Commissaires  are  now  there, 
lodged  in  the  Palais  Stadhouderien,  and  General  Pichegru  at 
the  Vieille  Cour.  Mr.  Faesch  was  not  at  home.  Went  to  the 
play  in  the  evening.  The  tragedy  of  "  Hypermnestra,"  with 
the  comic  opera  "  Les  deux  chasseurs  et  la  laitiere,"  in  Dutch, 
were  performed.    The  house  thin.    The  patriotic  airs  were  per- 


64  MEMOIRS    OF   JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [January, 

formed  ;  a  ballet  representing  the  erection  of  the  tree  of  Liberty- 
was  received  with  much  applause. 

29th.  Passed  the  evening,  and  supped,  at  Mr.  Hubbard's.  He 
quarters  a  chef-de-brigade  du  genie,  who  was  with  us,  as 
was  Mr.  Van  Eeghen,  both  very  sensible  men.  The  officer's 
name  is  Verrine,  a  man  of  great  simplicity  of  manners.  He 
was  a  lieutenant  at  the  beginning  of  the  Revolution,  and  has 
now  become  a  general  officer.  Has  been  in  the  war  of  the 
Vendee,  in  the  campaigns  of  Custine,  and  in  the  last  campaign 
of  eighteen  months.  Neither  Custine  nor  Dumouriez,  he  says, 
were  great  Generals,  but  Custine  was  personally  brave,  at  least 
at  times.  His  observations  upon  many  subjects  were  cool  and 
rational.  But  his  discretion  was  as  remarkable  as  his  modesty. 
He  read  us  however,  in  answer  to  some  questions  relating  to  the 
actions  of  the  8th  &  9th  insts.,  some  passages  in  his  journal ; 
and  in  one,  where  he  mentioned  a  mistake  of  the  General  in 
Chief,  he  had  added,  "  ainsi  les  rapports  du  General  ne  sont 
pas  ce  qu'il  y  a  de  plus  sur  au  monde."  His  principal  atten- 
tion appears  to  be  towards  military  subjects.  There  appeared 
to  be  no  sort  of  enthusiasm  about  him. 

Van  Eeghen  is  a  member  of  the  new  Committee  of  Finance, 
and  appears  tolerably  well  reconciled  to  the  Revolution  and 
present  course  of  things.  Even  the  established  rule  of  allow- 
ing no  refusal  to  offices,  he  thinks  was  necessary  on  the  present 
occasion,  although  he  was  compelled  by  it  reluctantly  to  engage 
in  public  affairs.  He  seems,  with  others,  to  be  deeply  sensible 
of  the  deranged  state  of  the  finances  here.  The  deficiencies 
must  be  greater  than  they  expected.  Hubbard  is  dissatisfied 
with  everything  but  the  Committee  of  Finance.  He  has  hardly 
discretion  enough  in  concealing  or  disguising  his  sentiments. 
His  wife  is  still  less  so,  and  said,  if  they  put  her  in  requisition, 
she  would  kill  herself.  "  Madam,"  said  the  French  officer, 
"  your  children  put  you  in  requisition  every  day."  The  subject 
of  requisitions  is  terrible;  that  of  Assignats  as  bad;  and  the 
Stadhouderien  party's  policy  now  is  to  make  the  greatest  out- 
cry possible,  at  the  smallest  inconvenience.  They  will  before 
long  discover  the  operation  of  this  system,  which  will  assuredly 
not  help  them.     The  quartering  of  troops  was  the  first  com- 


1 795-]  THE   MISSION  TO  HOLLAND.  65 

plaint.  But  this  evil  being  really  light,  people  have  accustomed 
themselves  to  it.  At  every  new  measure,  the  Orangists  will 
certainly  yell  still.  The  patriots  will  in  time  grow  angry. 
They  have  the  power  in  their  hands — and  then 

Upon  my  observing  to  the  officer,  that  their  army  was  under 
very  good  discipline,  he  answered  that  they  were  partly  so. 
That  offences  which  immediately  affected  operations  against  the 
enemy  were  punished  with  sufficient  severity.  Every  act  of 
pillage,  of  drunkenness,  and  of  coivardice,  is  capital ;  all  upon 
the  same  principle — because  they  render  the  offender  incapable 
to  do  his  duty  and  be  at  all  times  prepared  for  action.  But 
the  deficiency  is  with  respect  to  minor  faults,  and  the  small 
police  of  regularity.  They  want  cleanliness,  exact  subordina- 
tion, attention  and  economy  of  clothing.  The  consequence  is 
unfavorable  to  their  health,  and  occasions  a  prodigious  waste. 
Their  shoes — their  coats — their  linen,  do  not  last  a  fourth  part 
of  the  time  they  ought.  The  army,  under  proper  regulation, 
would  not  cost  a  tenth  part  what  it  has — and  of  all  this  the 
Convention  takes  no  notice  whatever. 

31st.  Took  passage  in  the  Post  Waggon  at  nine  this  morning, 
for  the  Hague.  We  had  two  companions  in  the  carriage,  Ger- 
mans, speaking  no  other  language  than  their  own.  Of  course 
we  had  not  much  conversation.  Arrived  at  the  Hague  between 
four  and  five  p.m.  We  had  scarce  got  into  the  house,  when  two 
persons  came  from  Mr.  Beeldemaker,  to  ask  for  him  an  intro- 
duction to  the  Representatives  of  the  French  people.  Wrote  a 
line  for  him  accordingly.  Paid  a  visit  to  Mr.  Dumas1 — found 
him  sick,  but  in  good  spirits.  The  Revolution  has  gratified 
almost  all  his  passions. 

February  1st.  Received  two  or  three  visits  from  people  on 
errands  not  pertinent  to  me.  Mr.  Beeldemaker  preferred  going 
with  me  to  visit  the  Representatives,  rather  than  carry  his  letter. 
We  could  not  see  them,  however.  I  left  word  as  to  my  business. 
I  found  Beeldemaker's  was  to  recommend  himself  as  a  com- 
mercial house. 

1  Of  Mr.  Dumas  much  may  be  found  in  the  diplomatic  correspondence  of  the 
Revolution.     His  services  to  the  cause  of  America  had  been  constant  throughout 
that  period.  He  subsequently  became  a  violent  partisan  of  the  French  Revolution. 
vol.  1. — 5 


66  MEMOIRS    OF  JOHN  QUIKCY  ADAMS.  [February, 

2d.  Visit  to  Mr.  Scholten.  He  has  a  paymaster  quartered  in 
his  house;  appears  to  be  quite  easy.  To  Mr.  Mersen,  who  is 
laid  up  with  the  gout.  Told  me  some  particulars  of  the  Stadt- 
holder's  departure.1  He  talked  to  many  of  the  people  as  he 
went  along ;  wished  them  well ;  said  he  always  had  their  hap- 
piness at  heart.  The  Princess  was  furious.  The  hereditary 
Princess,  resigned  to  anything  but  going  to  England.  Prince 
Frederic2  is  very  averse  to  going  at  all.  Said  he  had  done 
nothing  but  his  duty.  Had  served  his  country,  and  had  com- 
mitted no  faults  unless  of  inexperience,  which  could  not  be 
criminal.  He  could  not  bear  to  fly  like  a  malefactor;  and 
finally  submitted  only  upon  the  express  and  positive  command 
of  his  father.  These  anecdotes,  whether  true  or  false,  are 
characteristic  of  the  several  reputations.  The  Stadtholder 
himself  is  well  disposed,  with  a  good  heart,  and  a  feeble  mind. 
He  is  the  man  of  his  councils,  and  not  of  his  own  energy.  The 
Princess,  detested  almost  universally.  Haughty,  domineering, 
incapable  of  submitting  to  misfortune  with  dignity,  when  she 
found  her  power  at  an  end,  and  no  resource  for  personal  safety 
but  inglorious  flight,  in  an  open,  paltry  fishing  boat,  in  the 
extreme  severity  of  a  season  almost  unexampled,  she  could  no 
longer  contain  her  passions,  but  broke  out  in  transports  of 
rage,  until  she  was  totally  exhausted,  and  sank  into  a  state  of 
sullen  apathy.  The  hereditary  Princess  was  beloved.  Her 
youth,  beauty,  innocence,  and  affability  of  disposition,  all 
recommended  her  to  compassion;  and  the  interest  in  her  favor 
is  increased  by  attributing  to  her  so  popular  a  sentiment  as  an 
antipathy  against  England.  Her  husband  seems  to  bear  no 
character  at  all.  He  is  cold,  reserved,  and  unamiable,  without 
being  positively  hated.  Nothing  is  said  of  him.  Frederic  is 
the  favourite,  and  therefore  he  is  supposed  to  have  gone  with 
great  reluctance. 

The  Representatives  sent  me  word  that  they  would  see  me 

1  This  event  took  place  on  the  16th  of  January.  The  Stadtholder,  William  V., 
then  took  a  formal  leave  of  the  States-General,  and  demanded  their  acceptance  of  the 
resignation  of  his  two  sons,  which  was  acceded  to.  The  next  day,  the  Princess  of 
Orange,  his  wife,  with  the  wife  of  the  eldest  son,  and  her  child,  a  boy,  went  to 
Schevening,  where  they  embarked  for  England  in  the  manner  here  described. 

2  The  younger  of  the  two  sons. 


1795]  THE   MISSION  TO   HOLLAND.  £y 

when  I  pleased.  I  visited  them  in  the  evening  to  demand  a 
passport  for  Mr.  McEvers,  and  the  permission  to  an  American 
vessel  at  the  Texel,  entered  since  the  arrival  of  the  French  here, 
to  depart.  They  promised  it  should  be  immediately  done, 
demanding  however,  for  their  justification,  a  claim  from  me 
in  writing,  to  which  I  agreed.  In  conversation,  they  spoke  of 
my  father  in  a  complimentary  style.  Enquired  if  I  knew  Mr. 
Monroe,  &c.  I  observed  I  had  been  more  acquainted  with  his 
predecessor  Mr.  Jefferson,  who  I  believed  was  still  remembered 
in  France  with  pleasure.  Yes,  said  the  deputy,  with  more 
pleasure,  to  tell  the  truth,  than  Mr.  Morris.  They  appeared 
doubtful  whether  Morris  was  yet  employed  by  the  Government 
of  the  United  States  or  not.  The  drift  was  evident,  and  I  told 
them  that  he  was  not,  to  my  knowledge  and  belief.  They  said 
Mr.  Morris  was  in  Switzerland  at  Basle,  intriguing,  and  the  soul 
of  councils  against  France;  but  his  manoeuvres  were  perfectly 
known,  and  it  was  to  be  hoped  they  would  do  no  harm.  I  said 
that  if  Mr.  Morris  was  doing  or  attempting  anything  against 
the  interests  of  France,  it  was  most  assuredly  not  by  any  au- 
thority from  the  United  States  ;  that  I  knew  perfectly  well  the 
disposition  of  the  American  councils  was  very  far  from  being 
unfriendly  to  the  French  Republic.  He  said  they  were  fully 
persuaded  of  it,  and  what  had  happened  sufficiently  proved  it. 

They  were  very  glad,  he  said,  to  have  the  Ministers  of  their 
friends  here,  to  witness  their  conduct,  and  see  what  was  the 
manner  in  which  the  French  people  answer  calumny.  It  is  to 
be  hoped  (he  added)  that  it  will  do  away  some  of  the  impres- 
sions produced  by  the  representations  which  Messieurs  les 
Emigres  have  been  pleased  to  make  of  us.  Calumny  is  one 
of  the  weapons  which  has  been  used  against  us.  We  hope  it 
will  not  be  more  successful  than  the  others.  I  said  the  weapon 
would  soon  lose  all  its  efficacy,  by  such  examples  as  they  had 
shown  here. 

I  left  them  ;  and  soon  after  my  return  home,  Mr.  McEvers 
called  on  me,  just  arrived  from  Amsterdam. 

3d.  Addressed  the  demand  for  a  passport  in  writing,  &c,  to  the 
Commissaries,  and  carried  it  myself.  They  soon  after  addressed 
the  passport,  and  notice  of  their  having  given  the  order,  to  me. 


6S  MEMOIRS    OF   JOHN   QUINCY  ADAMS.  [February, 

The  President  of  the  Assembly  of  Provisional  Representatives  of 
the  People  of  Holland,  addressed  me  a  notification  of  the  Assem- 
bly, of  the  Aboli  ion  of  the  States  of  Hollandand  West  Friesland; 
of  his  being  President  of  the  new  Assembly,  and  of  his  being  sub- 
stituted to  perform  the  functions  of  the  Councillor  Pensionary. 
Answered  that  I  thanked  him  for  the  notification,  and  would,  as 
soon  as  possible,  advise  the  American  Government  of  it. 

Upon  some  doubts  occurring  in  my  mind  as  to  my  own  con- 
duct at  present,  I  repeated  the  stupidity,  which  my  former 
experience  had  proved  to  be  such,  of  consulting  Mr.  Dumas; 
and  not  only  so,  but  had  the  weakness  to  be  put  out  of  temper, 
by  his  extravagance  and  absurdity,  so  far  as  to  tell  him  that  he 
answered  me  more  like  a  Dutch  patriot  than  an  American. 
Nay  more,  I  could  not  even  refrain  from  uttering  some  scruples 
as  to  the  question  whether  the  new  Provincial  Assembly  be 
really  chosen  by  the  people ;  but  from  this  subject  I  soon 
desisted.  The  simple  hint  put  him  in  a  passion.  In  short, 
the  man  is  impracticable. 

Visited  Messrs.  Schubart  and  Araujo,  the  Danish  and  Portu- 
guese Ministers,  neither  of  whom  was  at  home — then,  the 
General  en  chef,  Pichegru,  with  whom  I  had  a  conversation  of 
about  a  quarter  of  an  hour.  He  turned  it  very  soon  from  the 
subject  of  his  campaign  to  enquiries  upon  American  affairs. 
This  man  is  systematic  in  retiring  from  public  display,  and  he 
is  the  more  successful  for  it.  The  questions  he  asked  were 
concerning  the  late  Western  Insurrection — our  differences  with 
England — the  tribes  of  savages — the  state  of  our  public  force 
— but  particularly  as  to  our  paper  currency  in  the  late  Revolu- 
tion, what  had  been  done  with  it,  and  how  it  had  been  funded. 
Upon  all  these  subjects,  I  answered  him  as  well  as  was  in  my 
power.  He  asked  whether  I  thought  Great  Britain  sincere  in  the 
intention  to  perform  the  treaty  lately  concluded.  I  said  we  hoped 
she  was  sincere,  as  we  wish  to  live  at  peace  with  all  the  world. 

A  man  who  in  three  years'  time  rises  from  the  rank  of  a 
Serjeant  of  Artillery,  to  that  of  Commander  in  Chief  of  an 
army  of  one  hundred  thousand  men,  and,  in  the  last  capacity, 
performs  a  campaign  like  that  of  Pichegru  since  last  March, 
deserves    particular    consideration.     His    person    has    nothing 


1 795-]  TI/E   MISSION   TO   HOLLAND.  69 

remarkable.  His  stature  is  of  the  middling  size;  his  person 
well  formed ;  his  countenance  manly,  but  not  handsome  nor 
impressive  ;  his  manners  easy  and  graceful,  and  his  address 
polite,  though  not  the  politeness  of  Courts. 

The  rock  upon  which  La  Fayette,  Dumouriez,  Custine,  and 
innumerable  other  French  Generals,  as  well  as  Statesmen,  have 
been  wrecked,  is  Vanity.  Each  of  them  too  hastily  concluded 
himself  to  be  the  pivot  upon  which  the  affairs  of  the  world  were 
to  turn  ;  and  neither  had  the  talent  to  disguise  or  conceal  the 
opinion.  Pichegru  has  learnt  wisdom  from  the  example  of 
their  fate,  and  covers  himself  with  a  mantle  of  humility.1 

4th.  Had  a  visit  this  morning  from  a  woman  who  introduced 
herself  by  enquiring  after  Mr.  de  Ternant,  who  she  said  had 
been  for  many  years  her  intimate  friend.  Upon  being  informed 
that  I  had  no  personal  acquaintance  with  that  gentleman,  she 
appeared  to  be  surprised  ;  but  took  her  seat,  and  enquired  if  I 
could  inform  her  how  it  would  be  possible  to  send  him  a  letter; 
which  I  thereupon  offered  to  do.  She  then  said  she  was  a 
Hollander  born,  but  from  the  age  of  seventeen  had  lived  in 
Paris.  Her  maiden  name  was  Daelders.  Her  husband,  a  man 
who  had  been  given  her,  but  a  worthless  character,  died  in  the 
East  Indies;  his  name  was  Palm,  but  she  had  always  preferred 
her  other  name,  and  was  usually  called  by  both.  She  had 
lived  twenty-three  years  in  Paris,  where  she  had  always  been 
upon  the  most  friendly  terms  with  the  best  of  company.  By 
good  company,  she  did  not  mean  Princes,  or  Dukes,  or  Cour- 
tiers, who,  as  such,  were  no  company  at  all ;  but  such  men  as 
D'Alembert,  Diderot,  &c. — men  of  genius  and  learning.  That 
after  Mr.  de  Ternant  returned  in  1783  from  the  war  in  America, 
she  contracted  an  acquaintance  with  him.  That  a  young 
woman,  abandoned  by  her  husband  for  whom  she  had  never  any 
regard,  might  naturally  be  supposed  to  have  a  heart;  that,  in 
short,  she  felt  extremely  interested  in  the  fate  of  her  poor  little 
Ternant.  That  when  he  last  went  to  America  as  the  King's 
Minister,  he  would  have  carried  her  with  him.  But  she  knew 
the    manners   of  that  country  were    different    from    those   of 

1  The  termination  of  General  Pichegru's  career  did  not  correspond  to  its  com- 
mencement.    He  fell  into  the  same  category  with  the  others  here  named. 


j0  MEMOIRS    OF   JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [February, 

France.  She  knew  it  would  be  thought  extraordinary  there  to 
see  a  woman  living  with  a  man  who  was  not  her  husband ;  and 
at  that  time  she  had  no  certain  news  of  her  husband's  death, 
which  she  did  not  receive  until  she  returned  to  this  country. 
That  at  the  time  when  Dumouriez  was  for  the  first  time  Minis- 
ter of  Foreign  Affairs,  Ternant  had  been  displaced  by  Bonne- 
carrere, a  Clerk  in  the  Department,  who  had  substituted  himself 
to  take  the  place.  Upon  hearing  the  intelligence,  she  had 
represented  the  matter  to  the  Minister,  and  Ternant  was 
restored  for  that  time,  and  continued  in  his  office,  till  after  the 
death  of  the  King.  That  she  had  been  happy  to  hear  he  was 
still  in  America,  and  well.  She  was  afraid  he  would  imagine 
that  she  had  been  guillotined,  and  therefore  wished  to  write  to 
him,  and  let  him  know  of  her  being  here,  and  well.  That  she 
was  no  emigree.  She  came  to  this  country  in  October,  1792, 
with  a  secret  commission  from  the  Diplomatic  Committee,  of 
which  Brissot  was  a  member,  to  enquire  here,  whether  this 
country  would  remain  neutral,  and  whether  they  would  receive 
a  Minister  from  France.  She  shewed  me  her  passport  from 
Paris,  dated  October  18,  1792,  and  signed  Le  Brun  ;  a  billet 
from  Van  de  Spiegel,  polite  enough,  but  excusing  himself  that 
his  numerous  occupations  did  not  permit  him  to  see  her  so 
frequently  as  he  wished  ;  another  billet,  purporting  to  be  a 
copy,  without  date,  name,  or  signature,  but  which  referred  to 
the  subject  of  her  commission,  and,  as  she  said,  was  from  the 
same  Van  de  Spiegel — this  was  probably  true.  The  contents 
of  this  billet  were — "that  assuredly  it  was  the  full  intention  and 
desire  of  this  country  to  remain  neutral,  and  it  was  hoped  that 
no  measures  would,  on  the  part  of  France,  be  taken  to  compel 
an  abandonment  of  this  system.  That  as  to  the  reception  of 
a  public  Minister  from  France,  upon  a  point  so  important  it 
was  thought  advisable  to  take  no  determination  without  pre- 
viously consulting  the  only  neutral  ally  of  the  Republic,  which 
was  Great  Britain.  That  in  the  meantime,  if  it  was  thought 
best  to  send  here  a  person  without  public  character,  he  should 
be  enabled  to  transmit  such  advices  as  he  should  think  proper." 
As  soon  as  I  had  read  this  billet,  she  said,  "  Do  you  think  that 
old  woman  enough?     Here's  a  man  extremely  desirous  of  pre- 


1795]  THE   MISSION   TO   IIOILAh'D.  yi 

serving  neutrality,  and  yet  as  to  the  only  means  to  ensure  it, 
he  cannot  speak,  but  he  must  go  and  take  his  lesson  from 
England,  where  it  was  already  decided  the  other  way.  So  in 
goes  this  country  to  a  War;  and  now,  Van  de  Spiegel  has  full 
leisure  for  repentance.  But  oh!  my  country,  my  country! 
I  wish  I  could  see  things  likely  to  go  on  any  better  than  they 
have  done.  I  have  no  great  hopes  of  it.  What  sort  of  a  revo- 
lution is  this  ?  They  talk  of  the  people — the  sovereignty  of 
the  people.  Here  is  an  Assembly,  that  have  driven  out  the 
States  of  Holland,  and  put  themselves  in  their  place;  and  all 
by  the  sovereignty  of  the  people,  while  the  people  don't  so 
much  as  know  their  names.  The  people  have  acted  but  one 
part  in  this  affair — that  is,  to  submit.  You'll  see  strange  things 
yet,  Sir — these  people  have  been  so  eager  to  grasp  at  office, 
that  they  have  not  had  time  to  think  of  cruelty — but  it  will 
come.  There  will  be  blood  shed  yet."  "We  must  hope  better 
things,  Madame."  "  Oh,  yes !  hope  better  things — but,  for  my 
part,  I  will  have  nothing  to  do  with  it.  The  men  think  that 
women  are  incapable  of  doing  anything.  Condorcet  made  a 
report  to  the  Assembly,  appropriating  forty-two  millions  to 
public  education  for  boys.  I  was  sent  with  a  deputation  from 
my  section,  to  demand  that  the  same  advantages  should  be  ex- 
tended to  our  sex.  Condorcet  had  not  noticed  them — had  not 
applied  a  denier  to  them.  I  delivered  my  address.  I  have  a 
copy  of  it — you  shall  see  it.  But  I  am  sorry  I  have  it  not 
about  me  now.  We  obtained,  however,  what  we  demanded 
from  the  Assembly.  It  was  I  that  obtained  an  application  of 
public  expenses  for  the  education  of  girls,. as  well  as  boys.  I 
had  the  rights  of  Citoyenne  granted  me  in  three  different  places 
where  I  had  never  been.  At  Creil,  they  sent  me  a  very  solemn 
deputation,  with  a  medal,  which  I  have  here"  (and  shewed  me 
the  medal).  "  For  eighteen  months  I  never  missed  a  session 
of  the  Assembly.  A  great  many  of  the  members  did  not  like 
it.  One  of  them  asked  me  once,  before  several  others,  what 
good  there  would  be  in  giving  an  education  to  women.  'Why,' 
said  I,  '  in  such  cases,  if  a  woman  should  have  a  fool  of  a 
husband,  in  such  an  office,  for  instance,  as  you  hold,  she  could 
direct  him  how  to  conduct  himself — judge  how  they  laughed  at 


y 2  MEMOIRS    OF   JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [February, 

him.  Then  says  Barnave, '  Madame,  you  would  doubtless  have 
women  to  compose  our  armies,  and  fight.'  '  No,  Sir,'  said  I, '  but 
if  your  hospitals  were  full  of  sick  and  wounded,  I  would  render 
all  the  women  capable,  and  I  would  make  it  their  duty,  to  tend 
them.'  '  That  would  not  do,'  said  the  Vicomte  de  Noailles,  '  for 
all  our  soldiers  would  get  wounded  on  purpose  to  go  to  the 
hospitals.'  So  in  1792  they  sent  me  here  upon  this  com- 
mission. I  was  to  have  300  livres  a  month,  but  I  was  paid 
only  one  month.  And  after  the  Brissot  party  was  ruined,  I 
received  nothing.  But  I  have  seen  the  Representans  du  peuple 
here.  They  said  they  supposed  I  wanted  my  money.  No, 
said  I,  the  first  thing  to  consider  is  la  gloire.  I  demand  that 
the  Convention  declare  in  the  first  place  that  I  have  not  ceased 
to  deserve  well  of  the  country.  For  I  received  a  commission 
and  have,  faithfully  executed  it.  The  other  day,  when  Mr. 
Audibert  was  liberated,  it  was  by  my  means.  I  went  to 
Starrenberg,  and  told  him,  that  he  should  answer  with  his 
head,  if  the  French  Commissary  was  kept  any  longer.  And 
he  was  frightened  out  of  his  wits.  He  said, '  Stop,  stop,  Madame, 
he  shall  be  set  immediately  free.'  The  fellow  knew  not  what 
he  was  saying.  So  he  sent  the  orders  to  open  the  prison,  and 
immediately  ran  off  himself." 

She  concluded  by  assuring  me  that  Mr.  Iddeking,  now 
President  of  the  States  General,  is  her  first  cousin.  That  she 
was  acquainted  here  with  all  the  considerable  people.  That 
the  English  Ambassador  used  to  say  that  she  monopolised  all 
the  bourgeois.  That  the  Prince  used  to  call  her  his  Jacobine. 
But,  however,  he  always  had  a  high  opinion  of  her.  That  if 
I  pleased,  she  should  be  glad  to  see  me  at  her  house  ;  that  I 
might  depend  upon  it  I  should  not  commit  my  reputation  by 
it.  That  she  had  always  preserved  the  most  immaculate  repu- 
tation, and  the  invitation  was  not  a  thing  common  to  everybody. 
For  instance,  she  did  not  choose  to  have  the  Swedish  Minister 
come  to  see  her.  She  did  not  like  him.  But  the  Prussian 
Minister,  the  Comte  de  Keller,  she  used  to  see  with  pleasure. 
"They  used  to  call  him  a  fool,"  said  she,  "because  when  he 
heard  them  prating  in  the  way  they  always  do  without  know- 
ing what  they  say,  he  would  be  silent.     It  was  only  because  he 


1795]  TIIE  MISSION  TO   HOLLAND.  73 

despised  them,  and  their  foolish  prattle;  and  I  have  told  them 
so."  After  a  great  deal  more  miscellaneous  talk  of  the  same 
kind,  this  problem  of  a  woman  went  away. 

Passed  the  evening  at  Madame  Veerman's.  They  quarter  a 
Lieutenant,  who  was  there  part  of  the  evening.  A  proper  sans- 
culotte, ignorant,  illiterate,  very  ill  bred  ;  or  at  least  as  foul- 
mouthed  as  the  perroquct  Ver  Verd.  He  belongs  to  Bordeaux, 
and  plainly  discovers  in  his  conversation  his  relation  with  the 
banks  of  the  Garonne.  Mr.  Patyn,  Secretary  of  the  Regency 
here,  lately  dismissed,  was  also  there,  and  beat  me  at  draughts. 

5th.  Visited  the  citizen  Paulus,  President  of  the  Assembly  of 
Provisional  Representatives  of  the  People  of  Holland.  He  said 
he  remembered  having  seen  me  when  I  was  in  this  country 
before,  and  made  particular  enquiries  after  my  father,  with 
whom  he  said  he  was  well  acquainted.  Had  afterwards  a  con- 
versation with  him  of  about  half  an  hour.  Their  object  is  to 
make  a  closer  Treaty  with  America,  and  the  best  possible  dis- 
positions were  professed,  I  think,  with  sincerity.  But  I  can  do 
nothing  at  present.  Mr.  Schermerhorn  called  to  see  me,  and 
talks  of  going  to  Paris.  Saw  Mr.  Dumas,  and  told  him  I  had 
both  written  to  Mr.  Paulus  and  seen  him. 

6th.  Visit  this  forenoon  from  Mr.  Scholten.  The  Comte  de 
Bentinck  van  Rhoon,  former  Grand  Baillif  of  the  Hague, 
Van  de  Spiegel,  the  Pensionary,  and  three  members  of  the 
dismissed  Regency  of  the  Hague,  have  been  arrested;  as  also 
two  Fagels,  officers,  and  brothers  of  the  Greffier  now  in  Eng- 
land, who  went  over  with  the  Prince,  and  have  just  returned. 
The  two  first  are  committed  to  a  public  prison.  The  cause  of 
this  arrest  is  not  known.  Mr.  Scholten  answered  the  enquiry 
by  whose  order  the  Pensionary  was  arrested,  that  he  knew  not. 
He  supposed  by  the  order  of  the  States  General.  He  hoped 
not,  however.  There  was  indeed  one  example  of  a  Grand 
Pensionary  arrested  by  the  States,  but  it  was  not  a  good  one 
to  be  quoted  as  a  precedent — he  meant  the  instance  of  Barne- 
veld,  which  is  not,  said  he,  the  period  of  our  history  which 
tells  the  most  to  our  honour.  There  are  five  Boards  of  Ad- 
miralty— Amsterdam,  Rotterdam,  Zealand,  North  Holland,  and 
Friesland.     In  reality,  there  are  but  three   of  any  effect ;  the 


74  MEMOIRS    OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [February, 

fourth  is  almost,  and  the  fifth  merely,  titular.  If  the  ships  be- 
longing to  Zealand  did  not  escape,  with  some  exertion  and  a 
good  deal  of  money,  sixteen  or  seventeen  men  of  War  and 
several  Frigates  might  be  fitted  out  before  midsummer.  This 
is  what  remains  of  a  navy,  and  a  maritime  power,  which  in 
the  last  century  so  obstinately  disputed  the  dominion  of  the 
sea  with  England. 

Mr.  Scholten  said  he  hoped  the  change  would  not  be  ex- 
tended to  the  name  of  Their  Highmiglitincsses,  because  so  long 
as  the  name  was  retained,  any  changes,  however  essential, 
would  create  no  embarrassment  with  foreign  powers.  In 
Sweden — in  Denmark,  the  most  material  alterations  had  been 
made  in  their  Governments  and  Constitutions;  but  no  diffi- 
culty had  occurred,  because  the  names  were  preserved.  But 
in  changing  the  names,  the  facility  of  making  peace  would  be 
impeded,  because  a  previous  question  of  acknowledgment 
must  be  decided.  Peace,  he  believed,  was  a  thing  very  neces- 
sary to  this  country.  For  if  we  are  to  go  through,  yet,  a  war 
with  England,  the  gentlemen  may  busy  themselves  in  regu- 
lating the  forms,  but  the  substance  of  the  country  will  be  gone. 

The  motive  for  this  solicitude  as  to  the  changing  the  name 
of  the  legislative  head  of  the  Union  is  natural  enough,  and 
probably  connected  with  other  motives  than  those  mentioned. 
And  for  the  same  reasons  which  operate  to  produce,  in  his 
mind,  the  wish  that  the  change  may  not  take  place,  those  who 
now  have  the  power  in  their  hands  will  probably  be  equally 
anxious  to  make  it.  Part  of  their  security  consists  in  making 
the  revolution  as  complete  as  possible. 

Mr.  Scholten  and  his  family  are  great  sufferers  by  it.  His 
father,  Treasurer  of  the  Admiralty  at  Amsterdam,  his  brother, 
one  of  the  council  in  the  same  city,  dismissed.  Another 
brother,  Pensionary  at  Delft,  dismissed.  He  holds  an  office  as 
Councillor  of  the  High  Court  of  Justice,  which  will  probably 
meet  with  the  same  fate  as  the  other  establishments  of  the 
former  Government. 

ioth.  Letter  this  morning  from  Mr.  Monroe.  Sent  to  Mr. 
Paulus.  Dined  with  M.  de  Schubart,  M.  and  Madame  Scholten, 
Mr.  Bielefeld.     Some  company  that  I  did  not  know. 


1795]  THE   MISSION   TO   II 0 I. 1.  A  .YD.  75 

The  Haut  Conscil,  of  which  Mr.  Scholten  is  a  member,  is,  he 
says,  a  monster  in  the  Republic.  Their  authority  is  contained 
in  an  instruction  from  William  the  First.  They  have  none 
from  the  States  General.  The  course  of  judicial  causes  begins, 
in  every  city,  before  the  Schepens;  from  their  decision,  an  ap- 
peal lies  to  the  Court  of  Holland,  and  from  that  Court,  to  the 
Haut  Conseil,  in  causes  of  more  than  600  florins  value.  There 
is  another  step  yet  in  their  judicial  ladder — for  after  these  three 
removals,  there  may  be  a  revision  before  the  judges  of  the  two 
Courts,  and  six  other  persons  appointed  by  the  Stadtholder 
for  the  particular  cause. 

The  Grand  Baillif  in  their  cities  is  Superintendent  of  the  Po- 
lice, and  at  the  same  time  performs  the  function  of  a  public 
accuser,  but  he  has  no  authority  as  a  Judge.  They  allow  no 
council  to  the  accused — they  have  not  abolished  the  practice 
of  torture,  and  indeed  their  criminal  jurisprudence  is  much  in 
need  of  reforms. 

At  Amsterdam,  the  principal  legislative  authority  resides  in 
a  council  or  Assembly,  composed  of  the  burgomasters,  and  Old 
Schepens,  not  in  the  Vroetschap.  The  best  work  upon  the 
commerce  of  the  country  is  a  book  in  French,  entitled  RicJicsse 
de  la  Holla tide,  by  Elie  Luzac. 

The  Baron  de  Schubart  has  nothing  characteristic  in  his 
manners  but  complaisance,  and  apparent  goodness  of  disposi- 
tion. Is  a  great  admirer  of  Rousseau.  Says  his  Lady,  who  is 
absent,  admires  him  still  more.  Says  he  is  a  believer  in  the 
equality  of  men.  And  thinks  that  the  French  Revolution  will 
have  no  effect  upon  the  authority  of  kings  who  conduct  them- 
selves well. 

Baron  Bielefeld  has,  to  appearance,  more  literature  than 
any  other  man  I  have  met  among  the  diplomatics,  except  M. 
d'Araujo.  He  has  read  most  of  the  publications  of  the  con- 
troversies which  have  become  so  important  at  the  present  day. 
He  appears  also  to  be  no  enemy  to  the  principles  of  equality. 
But  these  principles  have  supported  themselves  so  well  upon 
the  ground  of  force,  that  those  the  most  interested  against 
them  no  longer  venture  to  oppose  their  progress.  Mirabeau, 
says  Bielefeld,  wrote  but  a  small  part  of  the  works  attributed 


yft  MEMOIRS    OF   JOHN  QUIKCY  ADAMS.  [February, 

to  him  ;  and  particularly,  very  little  of  the  History  of  the 
Prussian  Monarchy.  He  says  he  is  ashamed  to  acknowledge 
that  the  Academy  of  Berlin  crown'd  Rivarol's  discourse  on 
the  universality  of  the  French  language. 

,  1 2th.  Called  in  the  morning  at  the  lodgment  of  Dort,  and 
saw  one  of  the  Commissioners  for  the  visitation  of  letters.  He 
said  they  were  ordered  to  receive  my  American  letters  though 
under  seal.  That  it  was  a  favor  extended  to  no  other  letters, 
not  even  those  of  the  States  General  to  their  own  Ministers. 
That  they  had  consented  to  accommodate  me,  because  they 
were  well  assured  the  Minister  of  their  friends  and  allies  would 
not  intrigue  against  them.  I  assured  him  of  my  gratitude,  and 
that  I  should  not  abuse  the  confidence.  The  rest  of  the  day 
was  very  busily  employed  in  writing,  except  only  a  walk,  and 
calling  on  Plaat,  the  stationer,  a  very  active  patriot,  and  one  of 
the  honest,  good-natured,  impertinent  intriguers  of  a  democracy; 
useful  in  the  hands  of  an  able  man,  and  who  may  be  applied  to 
a  thousand  good  purposes  by  flattering  his  vanity  with  the 
idea  of  his  own  importance.  He  proposed  to  me  to  become  a 
member  of  their  patriotic  society,  and  offered  to  introduce  me. 
I  excused  myself,  upon  the  ground  of  being  a  stranger,  which 
he  did  not  think  a  sufficient  reason.  The  scheme  would  suit 
me  very  well,  but  scruples  of  prudence  forbid  me. 

13th.  Plaat  came  this  morning,  and  was  earnest  to  introduce 
us  as  members  of  the  patriotic  society.  But  we  both  concluded 
to  stay  at  home.  Snow.  Reading  almost  the  whole  day.  Paulus 
upon  equality.  It  reminds  me  of  what  Colonel  Verrine  said  at 
Hubbard's  the  other  day,  of  the  capture  of  the  fort  of  the  Rhine. 
"  C'est  bon  pour  mettre  dans  la  Gazette,  mais  ce  n'est  rien." 

1 6th.  Dined  with  M.  de  Schubart.  The  French  Generals, 
Pichegru,  Elbel,  Sauviac,  and  a  Colonel  .    The  Dutch 

Generals,  Constant,  ,  and  Colonel  Comte  d'Aultremont. 

The  Comte  de  Lowenhielm,  Swedish  Minister,  and  his  Secretary. 
The  Minister  of  Poland,  Midleton,  the  Prussian  Secretary,  Baron 
de  Bielefeld,  son  of  the  author  of  "  Political  Institutions"  Some- 
thing was  said  at  dinner  of  the  use  the  French  had  made  of 
balloons  during  the  last  campaign,  in  discovering  the  positions 
of  their  adverse  armies.     The  experiment  it  seems  was  made 


I795-]  TIIE  MISSION   TO   HOLLAND.  77 

by  the  Army  of  Sambre  et  Mcuse.  Pichegru,  and  the  other 
Generals,  assured  us,  in  the  strongest  terms,  that  it  was  of  no 
service  at  all.  That  no  distinct  view  of  positions  could  be  dis- 
covered by  them,  because  there  could  be  no  stability  sufficient 
in  the  station,  to  look  steadily  at  objects  through  a  glass.  That 
if  the  country  is  open,  the  elevation  is  not  necessary;  if  it  is 
covered,  the  rays  of  light  proceeding  obliquely  could  not  dis- 
cover a  party  placed  in  ambush  behind  trees.  That  he  had, 
therefore,  never  found  any  service,  or  made  any  discovery  of 
consequence,  by  going  on  the  top  of  steeples.  It  was  observed 
that  the  relation  of  the  circumstance  had  at  least  produced  a 
great  effect  in  public.  "  Oh  !  yes,"  said  Sauviac,  "  the  effect  was 
infallible  in  the  Gazettes."  I  told  him  I  did  not  hear  lately 
of  their  using  the  telegraph.  "  Pardonnez-moi,"  said  he;  and 
seemed  not  perfectly  pleased  with  the  observation.  The  reason 
for  this  difference  of  opinion  as  to  the  two  inventions  is  plain 
enough.  The  latter  was  used  only  in  the  Armee  du  Nord,  and 
the  other  was  confined  to  that  of  Sambre  and  Meuse.  The  esprit 
de  corps,  and  the  contempt  for  newspaper  fame,  were  discernible 
in  the  conversation  of  these  officers,  as  much  as  they  were  in 
that  of  the  Chef  de  Brigade  Verrine.  Sauviac  and  Elbel  con- 
versed together,  principally  in  Italian,  sans  sc  gcncr.  Pichegru 
was  modest,  polite,  attentive,  and  apologised  for  the  other's 
unpoliteness,  observing  that  he  was  naturally  of  a  petulant 
character.  Sauviac,  upon  the  whole,  is  the  most  unfavorable 
specimen  of  a  French  Republican  officer  that  I  have  seen.  He 
limps  from  a  wound  which  he  received  in  the  service,  and 
which  he  is  far  from  endeavouring  to  conceal.  His  first  appear- 
ance contrasts  completely  with  that  of  Pichegru.  As  much  as 
the  one  is  modest  and  unassuming,  so  much  is  the  other  arro- 
gant and  censorious.  Being  seated  next  to  him  at  dinner,  as 
an  introduction  to  conversation  I  observed  to  him  that  he  found 
colder  weather  here,  I  presumed,  than  in  France.  "  Yes,"  said 
he,  "  but  we  shall  not  complain  of  the  cold.  It  has  been  our 
friend."  "  You  have  no  reason  to  complain  of  it,  indeed." 
"  Why,  as  we  came  along  with  constant  success,  our  troops 
marched  on  without  perceiving  the  cold."  "They  acted,  to  be 
sure,  as  if  they  did  not  perceive  it,  but  it  must,  however,  have 


j$  MEMOIRS    OF   JOHN   QUINCY  ADAMS.  [February, 

been  sensibly  felt."  "  Yes,  and  especially  by  me,  a  wounded 
man."  He  soon  enquired  whether  I  belonged  to  this  country. 
Upon  being  informed  I  was  an  American,  he  asked  what  sen- 
sation the  retreat  of  La  Fayette  had  produced  in  the  United 
States.  I  told  him,  a  different  one  upon  different  persons.  That 
he  had  conducted  himself  well  in  America,  and  was  therefore 
beloved.  That  he  was  generally  compassionated  there,  although 
we#  did  not  think  ourselves  competent  judges  of  the  merits  of 
his  cause.  I  observed  that  many  officers  of  the  present  Revo- 
lution had  been  in  America.  "There  have  been,"  said  he,  "but 
they  have  all  turned  out  unfortunate.  They  went  to  America, 
and  there  drew  the  first  sentiments  of  their  liberty ;  but,  I  don't 
know  how,  none  of  them  has  succeeded  in  France." 

He  was  asked  how  many  representatives  of  the  people  there 
were  with  the  two  armies.  "  Sometimes  more,  sometimes  less," 
said  he.  "  It  is  constantly  varying.  It  is  to  be  hoped  the  prin- 
ciples of  the  Government  do  not  change  so  often  as  they  change 
their  representatives  with  us.  It  produces  inconveniences.  The 
power  being  unlimited,  and  possessed  by  so  many  persons,  a 
difference  of  opinion  takes  place,  and  affairs  suffer."  He  said 
that  Barrere  was  one  of  the  most  immoral  men  that  had  appeared 
upon  the  theatre  of  their  Revolution,  but  that  he  possessed  such 
a  Protean  versatility  as  had  hitherto  carried  him  through,  amid 
the  shock  of  all  parties.  He  spoke  in  similar  terms  of  Collot 
d'Herbois.  After  enquiring  of  me  who  the  several  persons  at 
table  were,  whom  he  did  not  know,  "This  seems  to  be  a 
diplomatic  dinner,"  said  he ;  "  I  am  surprised  that  none  of  the 
Representatives  of  the  French  People  are  here."  He  appeared 
not  to  be  pleased  with  Count  Lowenhielm's  star,  and  spoke  of 
it  to  his  brother  General,  in  Italian,  which  the  Count  under- 
stood ;  and  thereupon  the  other  made  him  an  apology,  good  or 
bad.  From  these  specimens  of  his  breeding,  may  be  judged 
his  convivial  qualities,  and  probably  w-ithout  injustice.  Lowen- 
hielm  was  not  satisfied  with  the  title  of  Citoyen,  said  that  every 
one  should  be  a  good  citizen  at  home,  but  he  saw  no  occasion 
to  prefix  the  title  perpetually  to  everybody's  name.  As  for  his 
title  of  Count,  he  should  certainly  keep  it,  and  he  was  very  sure 
nobody  would  take  it  from  him.    We  withdrew.     Bielefeld  took 


1795]  THE   MISSION   TO   HOLLAND.  jg 

a  seat  with  us  to  go  home,  and  was  scarcely  in  the  carriage, 
before  he  exclaimed,  "  My  God  !  what  an  Aristocrat  Count 
Lowenhielm  is.  More  so  than  any  other  man  I  know.  As  to 
the  titles  of  Monsieur,  or  Citoyen,  it  is  a  thing  indifferent  in 
itself,  and  if  any  meaning  is  annexed  to  either  when  used,  the 
latter  appellation  is  the  most  rational.  But  for  the  titles  of 
Duke,  Marquis,  Count,  &c,  if  any  special  privileges  are  annexed 
to  them,  it  is  an  injustice;  if  none,  it  is  an  empty  sound,  which 
deserves  nothing  but  contempt." 

Bielefeld  is  no  less  sociable  than  democratic — says  Kalit- 
cheff,  the  Russian  Minister,  who  lately  went  away,  was  pro- 
digiously frightened  when  the  French  arrived.  They  treated 
him  very  well,  however.  He  is  "  now  gone,  but  not  esteemed 
to  be  a  loss  to  the  place,  for  he  was  universally  detested."  He 
did  not  say  on  what  account. 

17th.  I  had  just  begun  upon  my  usual  daily  walk,  when  I 
met  the  democratic  Baron,  who  was  upon  the  same  plan,  and 
we  agreed  to  walk  together.  The  conversation  was  principally 
political,  but  upon  the  affairs  of  the  day.  He  told  me  there 
was  to  be  a  play  to-night ;  if  I  pleased,  we  would  go  together ; 
to  which  I  agreed  accordingly  ;  but  in  the  evening  he  came 
and  told  me  he  had  been  misinformed,  and  the  play  would 
not  be  till  next  Monday.  He  sat  with  me  about  an  hour.  The 
observations  which  he  made  in  the  course  of  this  day,  worth 
notice,  must  appear  as  they  were  made,  without  order,  and  in 
the  miscellaneous  tone  of  common  chat. 

He  has  been  here  nearly  four  years.  Lord  Auckland  was  the 
British  Ambassador  here,  when  he  came.  Auckland  was  not 
much  admired,  notwithstanding  his  reputation.  About  two  years 
ago,  when  the  French  took  Breda,  in  the  time  of  Dumouriez, 
Auckland  hearing  the  news  of  it,  and  in  order  to  make  light  of 
it,  said,  "  Well,  fortresses  are  made  to  be  taken."  The  late 
Ambassador,  St.  Helens,  was  better  liked,  and  clever  enough. 
Both,  however,  governed  the  country.  They  were  real  Pro- 
consuls— and  now,  we  shall  have  French  Proconsuls.  It  is  in 
vain  for  this  country  to  pretend  in  future  to  political  inde- 
pendence. They  have  got  used  to  submitting,  and  would 
scarcely  know  how  to  act  for  themselves.     The  French  Repre- 


80  MEMOIRS    OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [February, 

sentatives  have  demanded  that  one  of  them  may  be  present 
when  the  papers  of  the  late  Pensionary,  Van  de  Spiegel,  are 
examined.  They  view  him  as  one  of  their  most  inveterate 
enemies.  They  are  very  much  mistaken.  Van  de  Spiegel  was 
extremely  desirous  of  preserving  a  peace  with  them.  He  was 
very  adverse  to  the  war.  But  he  was  a  weak  man,  and  dared 
not  oppose  himself  openly  to  the  torrent.  About  two  years 
ago,  the  political  intolerance  here  was  excessive.  Mr.  Short, 
then  the  American  Minister,  when  he  first  arrived,  was  well 
received,  and  liked  pretty  well ;  he  passed  for  a  pretty  good 
aristocrat.  But  he  visited  M.  de  Maulde,  who  was  here  then 
with  a  secret  commission  from  the  Executive  Council ;  and  ever 
after  that,  Short  was  shunned  and  disliked,  and  branded  as  a 
Jacobin.  This  Maulde  was  avoided  like  a  pestilence.  If  he 
ever  appeared  in  public  companies,  scarce  anybody  would 
speak  to  him.  The  Spanish  Minister  of  that  time  gave  a  great 
supper  to  almost  the  whole  City,  and,  by  some  accident,  was 
obliged  to  invite  M.  de  Maulde.  He  seemed  perfectly  alone 
in  the  midst  of  the  company;  and  he  was  so  universally  shunned, 
that  when  supper  was  served,  the  seat  next  to  that  which  he 
had  taken  was  left  empty.  But,  said  I,  this  is  surprising,  since 
at  that  very  time,  the  Pensionary,  and  British  Ambassador, 
were  negotiating  with  this  same  de  Maulde.  That  is  true,  but 
it  was  secretly,  and  not  avowed.  They  never  confessed  it, 
until  Maulde,  upon  returning  to  Paris,  published  the  account 
of  it,  and  then  they  could  no  longer  doubt  it. 

This  war  has  not  been  very  favorable  to  the  glory  of 
Sovereigns.  The  King  of  Prussia  reached  neither  Paris  nor 
Warsaw.  The  Emperor  came  with  great  eclat  to  his  army; 
and  returned  with  less  to  Vienna.  The  Duke  of  York  is 
returned  without  many  laurels  to  London.  The  Duke  of 
Brunswick  publishes  five  manifestos,  and  afterwards  retires. 
The  Prince  Cobourg  takes  the  command,  goes  on  swimmingly 
for  some  time;  but  finally  he  resigns  too.  The  young  Princes 
of  Orange  resign.  The  father  sets  out,  all  of  a  sudden,  to  make 
his  coup  d'essai ;  and  Nimeguen  is  taken.  To  crown  the 
whole,  there  is  nothing  wanting  but  the  King  of  Spain  to  set 
out  and  defend  his  dominions  in  Catalonia. 


1 795-]  THE   MISSION   TO   HOLLAND.  8  I 

23d.  Another  visit  this  morning  from  Madame  Palm  Daelders, 
who  left  with  me  her  letter  for  M.  de  Ternant,  and  lent  me  her 
political  works.  They  consist  in  two  or  three  addresses  to 
popular  societies  upon  the  subject  of  the  rights  of  women  ; 
delivered  in  the  year  1 791 ,  and  full  of  the  kind  of  trash  fashion- 
able at  that  day.  The  performances  are  upon  a  level  with  the 
subject,  and  contain  the  usual  commonplace  of  argument  upon 
the  rights  of  women,  and  the  injustice  they  suffer.  This  has 
been,  at  one  period,  among  the  whimsies  of  the  French  Revo- 
lution. But  it  is  in  vain  to  labor  and  toil  against  the  pre- 
scriptions of  nature.  Political  subserviency  and  domestic 
influence  must  be  the  lot  of  woman,  and  those  who  have 
departed  the  most  from  their  natural  sphere,  are  not  those  who 
have  shown  the  sex  in  their  most  amiable  light.  But  Madame 
Daelders  Palm  may  yet  be  serving  an  interest;  she  is  too 
furiously  democratic,  not  to  become  suspicious.  She  com- 
plains of  everything  now  going  forward ;  the  Princess  of 
Orange  could  not  be  more  bitter;  but  her  pretext  is,  that  the 
present  men  and  measures  are  aristocratical.  She  said  she 
would  rather  live  at  Constantinople  than  at  Venice,  though  she 
did  not  like  the  Turkish  Government,  which  allowed  one  man 
to  have  five  or  six  wives.  The  observation,  that  perhaps  she 
would  prefer  that  Government  reversed,  gave  her  great  delight. 
N.B.     To  remark  this  woman. 

25th.  Notice  from  Mr.  W.  Quarles,  that  he  has  been  ap- 
pointed Greffier  of  the  States  General.  Doctor  ,  an 
Englishman,  called  to  enquire  if  I  could  let  him  know  of  any 
opportunity  for  Demerara.  Mr.  Ripley,  a  young  American  who 
came  to  Europe  last  summer  to  offer  his  services  to  the  Poles, 
called  here  for  a  Passport.  In  the  afternoon,  Mr.  Van  Hees, 
the  Agent,  came  to  give  me  official  notice  of  the  Resolution 
taken  on  the  16th  by  the  States  General,  acknowledging  the 
Sovereignty  of  the  Batavian  People,  and  the  Rights  of  Men 
and  Citizens;  abolishing  the  offices  of  Stadtholder,  Captain, 
and  Admiral  General,  and  discharging  every  one  from  the 
oath  taken  to  support  the  pretended  ancient  Constitution.  Van 
Hees  did  not  appear  much  pleased  with  his  errand.  He  finds 
himself  employed  altogether  with  new  men,  and  thinks,  proba- 
vol.  1  — 6 


g2  MEMOIRS    OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [February. 

bly,  that  he  is  reserved  only,  as  Ulysses  was  kept  by  Poly- 
phemus, to  be  the  last  sufferer. 

28th.  Called  on  the  President  of  the  Provisional  Assembly, 
but  he  was  out.  Plaat  here  in  the  evening,  mentioned  his 
having  been  translator  to  the  French  Ministers  formerly.  M. 
de  Gouvernet  was  the  last  Minister  from  thence,  except  his 
successor  De  Maulde.  Gouvernet  never  got  any  good  intelli- 
gence. Maulde  took  proper  pains,  and  knew  the  secrets  of 
this  Government,  and  of  every  other  Minister  at  this  Court ; 
but  it  cost  him  600,000  livres  in  eight  months.  And  his  reward 
was,  when  he  returned,  to  be  three  times  imprisoned.  The 
Sardinian  made  him  pay  for  everything,  at  the  price  of  gold. 
He  made  his  fortune  by  it,  and  Maulde  completely  ruined  his. 
The  other  has  now  returned  home,  and  lives  upon  the  fruit  of 
his  treachery.  The  English  Secretary  was  the  cheapest  of 
them  all.  He  never  took  any  money  of  Maulde;  but  he  used 
to  play  at  cards  with  Maulde's  gouvernante,  and  never  failed  to 
win. 

Plaat  never  betrays  secrets.  He  names  nobody,  and  will  not 
(he  says)  even  give  any  hold  upon  which  the  persons  of  the 
traitors  can  be  guessed. 


CHAPTER    III. 

THE    MISSION    TO    HOLLAND. — CONTINUED. 

At  this  point  commences  the  continuous  diary  of  Mr. 
Adams,  which  is  embraced  in  nineteen  quarto  volumes,  aver- 
aging five  hundred  pages  each,  of  fine  writing.  Here  and  there 
a  break  happens,  when  the  pressure  of  public  affairs  became 
such  as  to  make  perseverance  impossible.  Out  of  this  super- 
abundant material  such  portions  have  been  selected  as  may 
serve  to  illustrate  important  public  events  of  the  time  or  the 
leading  characteristics  of  the  writer. 

The  title-page  of  the  first  volume  is  given  just  as  it  is  writ- 
ten in  the  very  neat  and  clear  hand  of  the  author  : 

"AXki/ioc;  eaa',  Iva  lif  as  kcu  'oipcyovuv  ev  hirrj.1 

DIARY   OF   JOHN   QUINCY   ADAMS. 

FROM    i    MARCH,  1795-, 


31    DECEMBER,  1802. 

Be  it  rather  your  ambition  to  acquit  yourself  in  your  proper  station,  than  to  rise  above  it. 
Certainly  it  is  Heaven  upon  Earth  to  have  a  man's  mind  move  in  charity,  rest  in  Providence, 
and  turn  upon  the  poles  of  Truth. 

Bacon  :     Essay  on  Truth. 


TvCj6i  oeavrov. 

Solon 

Know  thyself. 

TeAoc  opav  fiaKpov  fiiov 

Chilo 

Look  to  the  end  of  a  long  life. 

Kaipov  yvCidt 

Pittacus 

Watch  opportunity. 

Oi  -Attovc  nmol 

Bias 

The  many  are  evil. 

Me/in?  to  nuv 

Periander 

To  industry,  all. 

'XpioTov  fxirpov 

Cleobulus 

Measure  is  best. 

E};ia,  -niipa  6'uttj 

Thales 

Pledge,  and  harm  is  by. 

1  Odyssey,  B.  I,  1.  302.      Cowper  renders  it  thus: 

"  be  thou  also  bold, 
And  merit  praise  from  ages  yet  to  come." 

This  verse  is  quoted  by  Cicero  in  a  characteristic   letter  to  Julius  Caesar.     Ad 
familiares,  L.  13,  15. 

»3 


84  MEMOIRS    OF   JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [March, 

DIARY. 

The  Hague,  March  1st,  1795. — Visit  to  Mr.  Bielfeld,  Secretary 
of  the  Prussian  legation.  Conversation  principally  upon  the 
subject  of  news  and  politics,  of  which  I  bore  too  great  a  part, 
and  did  not  sufficiently  preserve  the  interrogative  character. 
He  observed  that,  in  the  late  conference  between  the  deputation 
from  the  States  General  and  the  French  Representative  Alquier,1 
there  seems  to  have  been  great  attention  paid  to  ceremonials. 

Visit  this  evening  from  Mr.  Dumas.  He  recommends  a 
work  of  a  Comte  Carli  upon  the  subject  of  America.  He 
treats  M.  Pauw  and  his  reveries  with  proper  severity.2  Mr. 
Dumas  says  he  has  grown  very  nice  and  difficult  to  please  as 
to  books.  He  personally  knew  Marat  many  years  ago,  and 
always  considered  him  as  a  dangerous  madman.  Marat  was 
here,  and  once  told  him  he  was  determined  to  fight  Prince 
Galitzin,  then  the  Russian  Minister  here,  upon  some  trivial  slight 
he  pretended  to  have  received  at  his  table.  From  that  time 
Mr.  Dumas  was  determined  not  to  admit  him  any  more  to  his 
house,  and  afterwards  at  Paris,  in  1779,  cautioned  his  friend  Dr. 
Franklin,  who  was  acquainted  with  Marat,  to  beware  of  him. 

The  church  hitherto  dominant  in  this  country  consists  of 
the  Calvinists  professing  the  doctrines  prescribed  by  the  Synod 
of  Dort.  The  ministers  are  appointed  and  paid  by  the  provin- 
cial States.  Their  salaries  are  from  six  hundred  to  two  thousand 
guilders  a  year. 

3d.  Visit  to  Madame  Palm  Daelders.  She  appears  to  be  a 
partisan  of  the  Orange  party,  under  a  thin  disguise  of  out- 
rageous democracy.  Finds  fault  with  every  thing  now  going 
forward,  as  not  being  conformable  to  the  genuine  doctrine  of 
equality.  Says  that  whenever  the  French  troops  withdraw,  the 
people  here  will  rise  against  the  new  order;  told  me  that  the 

1  At  this  period  each  of  the  armies  was  attended  by  a  committee  of  the  mem- 
bers of  the  Convention,  which  made  regular  reports  of  the  movements.  That  of 
the  North,  the  Sambre  and  the  Meuse,  was  composed  of  seven  persons, — Alquier, 
Bellegarde,  Joubert,  J.  B.  Lacoste,  Frecinet,  N.  Haussman,  Roberjot.  Richard, 
who  is  mentioned  in  this  diary  later,  is  stated  to  have  directed  the  expedition. 

2  These  works,  now  little  known,  remain  as  curiosities  of  literature  connected 
with  America,  purporting  to  be  profound  speculations. 


1795]  THE  MISSION  TO   HOLLAND.  85 

Ministers  of  Sweden  and  Denmark  were  recalled;  talked  a 
little  scandal  about  Lowenhiclm  ;J  showed  me  a  new  composi- 
tion of  hers  which  she  wishes  to  print  and  distribute — an  ad- 
dress to  the  Batavians,  recommending  their  old  institutions, 
and  a  dissolution  of  all  the  parties  which  divide  the  country; 
lent  me  the  printed  imitations  of  the  English  notes  and  let- 
ter said  to  have  been  found  in  an  English  pocket-book,  and 
deposited  in  the  National  Archives  of  the  French  Republic, 
by  decree  of  August  4,  1794;  says  this  was  the  occasion  of 
Audibert's  being  arrested  here.  He  had  a  number  of  them  to 
distribute,  and  the  British  Ambassador  was  afraid  of  the  effect 
they  would  produce,  and  therefore  directed  his  being  sent  away 
from  Amsterdam,  with  order  to  quit  this  Republic. 

8th.  Called  on  Mr.  Dumas.  Have  finished  the  reading  of 
Cerisier's  "  Tableau  de  l'Histoire  des  Provinces  Unies."  It  gives 
a  general  idea  of  their  history,  but  it  is  an  unfinished  work, 
written  in  haste,  and  requires  much  labour  of  the  file  to  give  it 
the  perfection  of  which  it  is  susceptible.  The  partisan  is  also 
too  clearly  discernible  throughout  the  work.  The  factions 
which  necessarily  divide  a  free  people  have  always  a  consider- 
able influence  upon  their  historical  relations.  Since  the  Revo- 
lution which  delivered  these  Provinces  from  the  Spanish  Do- 
minion in  the  16th  Century,  the  people  have  always  been 
divided  into  two  powerful  parties — the  one  adhering  to  the 
House  of  Orange,  and  the  other  consisting  of  its  opposers.  To 
promote  and  strengthen  and  increase  the  power  of  that  family 
has  invariably  been  the  real  object  of  the  former;  to  thwart,  and 
weaken,  and  even  destroy  it,  has  been  as  constantly  that  of  the 
other.  The  pretexts  with  which  they  have  at  different  times 
endeavoured  to  colour  their  encroachments  upon  each  other 
have  been  various;  sometimes  religious,  and  sometimes  polit- 
ical. Each  of  the  factions  has  endeavoured  to  support  itself 
by  the  assistance  of  foreign  connections.  And  ever  since  the 
marriage  of  William  the  Second  with  a  daughter  of  Charles 
the  First  of  England,  the  House  of  Orange  has  derived  its  ex- 
ternal support,  principally,  from  the  alliance  of  Great  Britain. 

1  Count  Ldwenhielm  was  at  this  time  the  Envoy  of  Sweden  to  the  government 
in  Holland. 


g6  MEMOIRS    OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [March, 

The  attention  of  the  other  party  has  therefore  necessarily  turned 
to  the  rival  power  of  France,  and  from  the  days  of  John  De  Witt 
to  the  present,  the  Republicans  have  always  attached  them- 
selves to  that  country.  Cerisier  was  a  Frenchman  born,  and 
an  ardent  republican  in  principle.  The  heroes  of  his  history 
therefore  are  Barneveldt,  the  De  Witts,  De  Ruyter,  and  all  the 
Chiefs  who  have  been  the  most  distinguished  antagonists  of  the 
Stadtholders  ;  while  at  the  same  time,  though  he  values  him- 
self much  upon  his  impartiality,  he  appears  to  pay  a  reluctant 
tribute  to  the  merits  of  the  Princes,  and  to  display  with  a  peculiar 
satisfaction  their  manifold  faults,  their  vices,  and  their  crimes. 

Barneveldt  and  the  De  Witts  were  undoubtedly  the  mar- 
tyrs of  Liberty,  and  the  victims  of  despotism.  Yet  even  at 
this  day,  the  Orange  faction  do  not  render  justice  to  their 
memory ;  and  it  is  not  two  months  since  I  heard  a  Dutchman 
of  understanding,  versed  in  the  history  of  his  country,  affirm 
that  the  judgment  of  Barneveldt,  to  be  sure,  was  not  perfectly 
reconcilable  to  the  forms  of  justice,  but  that  he  really  deserved 
his  fate.     Such  is  the  creed  of  courtiers  ! 

9th.  In  consequence  of  the  letter  received  on  Saturday  from 
Mr.  Bourne,  I  visited  this  morning  Mr.  Paulus,  President  of  the 
Provisional  Assembly  of  Holland.  Conversation  with  him 
upon  the  law  prohibiting  the  exportation  of  specie — upon  the 
detention  of  American  vessels  in  the  Ports — upon  the  permis- 
sion to  import  grain  and  flour  free  from  duty.  He  gave  me, 
not  as  he  said  as  President  to  the  American  Minister,  but  in  his 
private  capacity  to  me  in  mine,  a  copy  of  the  new  publication 
representing  the  state  in  which  the  finances  of  the  country 
were  found.  Desirous  as  they  are  that  a  line  of  strong  discrim- 
ination should  appear  between  the  system  now  pursued  and  that 
of  the  Government  they  have  abolished,  they  are  determined 
to  make  both  as  public  as  possible,  and  then  shall  be  willing  to 
abide  by  an  impartial  decision.  With  respect  to  the  vessels 
detained,  he  recommended  to  me  to  converse  with  the  French 
Representative  Alquier,1  the  only  one  now  remaining  here. 

1  Afterwards  under  Napoleon  known  as  the  Baron  d' Alquier;  a  man  of  ca- 
pacity, who  continued  in  the  diplomatic  service  many  years,  in  which  he  gained 
reputation.     lie  died  in  1826,  at  Paris,  at  an  advanced  age. 


1795]  THE  MISSION   TO   HOLLAND.  87 

I  wrote  accordingly  to  him,  requesting  to  know  when  I 
could  sec  him.  He  appointed  half-past  two,  at  which  hour  I 
went,  and  found  him  with  a  company  apparently  of  French 
officers.  He  told  them  on  my  entering  that  he  had  some 
business  with  the  American  Minister,  and  requested  them  to 
withdraw,  which  they  did.  He  said  there  would  be  no  diffi- 
culty whatever  with  respect  to  the  two  vessels,  and  if  I  would 
put  in  writing  my  demand  and  proposition,  he  would  concert 
the  measures  to  give  me  satisfaction  with  the  Government 
here.  But  just  at  this  present  moment  they  could  not  permit 
the  departure  of  vessels  for  any  foreign  Ports.  "  This  country," 
said  he,  "  is  yet  a  conquest  to  us  ;  or  at  least  we  occupy  it.  But 
in  a  few  days  the  intercourse  with  other  countries  will  be  as 
free  as  ever." 

10th.  An  emigrant  from  Brabant,  by  the  name,  I  think,  of 
Geuthryer,  came  to  see  me  this  morning,  having  already  been 
here  several  times.  He  calls  himself  a  Baron;  says  he  was  a 
member  of  the  Equestrian  Order  in  the  States  of  Flanders,  and 
from  his  conversation  must  be  very  wealthy.  He  proposes  re- 
turning to  Brussels,  his  home,  the  latter  end  of  this  week.  He 
brought  with  him  a  certificate  signed  by  Baron  Schubart,  the 
Danish  Minister,  purporting  that  he  knows  him,  his  wife  and 
sister — that  they  have  lived  here  since  last  June,  and  have 
conducted  themselves  perfectly  well,  without  intermeddling 
with  any  political  concerns  whatever.  The  gentleman  re- 
quested me  to  give  him  a  similar  certificate,  or  at  least  a 
recommendation  that  he  supposed  might  be  serviceable  to  him 
on  his  return  home. 

I  told  him,  that  I  had  no  doubt  but  that  Mr.de  Schubart  had 
certified  nothing  but  what  is  perfectly  conformable  to  truth  ; 
that  I  was  fully  persuaded  however  that  a  similar  certificate 
from  me,  or  a  recommendation,  would  be  of  no  possible  ser- 
vice or  utility  to  him,  and  that  I  hoped  and  believed  he  would 
have  no  occasion  for  any  such  paper.  But  that  a  declaration 
which  M.  de  Schubart  could  make  with  perfect  propriety,  as 
containing  only  facts  within  his  knowledge,  could  not  with 
equal  propriety  be  made  by  me,  to  whom  those  facts  were  not 
known.     And  as  to  a  recommendation,  it  would  only  expose 


88  MEMOIRS    OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [March, 

me  to  animadversion,  as  assuming  a  right  to  which  in  his  case 
I  am  certainly  not  entitled.  After  urging  me  more  than  was 
necessary,  finding  that  I  persisted  in  declining,  and  in  repeat- 
ing the  assurance  of  my  regret  that  I  could  not  give  him  the 
assistance  which  he  required,  he  took  his  leave,  evidently 
piqued  at  my  refusal. 

The  request  was  unreasonable  :  to  give  a  certificate  that  I 
knew  him,  his  wife  and  sister,  their  conduct  and  how  long 
they  have  resided  here,  while  in  reality  I  know  not  a  person  or 
circumstance  of  the  whole,  except  the  man  himself;  and  know 
him  only  from  his  having  been  to  see  me  several  times  without 
any  introduction  other  than  his  own. 

I  ith.  Visit  this  morning  from  Mr.  Mersen.  He  has  been  these 
six  weeks  laid  up  with  the  gout,  and  is  now  first  coming  out. 
Papers  from  Paris.  The  municipality  this  morning  sent  a 
couple  of  French  soldiers  to  quarter  in  the  house  of  Mr.  Jehn, 
where  I  am  lodged.  They  have  tried  the  experiment  three  or 
four  times ;  and  as  often,  the  French  Commandant  of  the  city 
upon  my  application  has  ordered  them  to  allow  the  exemption 
to  which  the  usage  of  Nations  entitles  me.  He  has  this  time 
requested  them,  in.  writing,  not  to  send  any  more  here.  The 
Representative  Alquier  makes  much  of  the  generous  treat- 
ment they  have  observed  in  this  country,  and  if  there  is  not  a 
sort  of  vanity  in  extolling  one's  nation,  he  says  no  more  than 
is  proper. 

1 2th.  Mr.  Bielfeld1  called  on  me  this  morning,  and  I  took  a 
walk  with  him  round  the  town.  Conversation  with  him  upon 
a  variety  of  subjects,  principally  political  speculation.  We 
talked  much  of  the  rights  of  man,  the  origin  and  foundation 
of  human  society,  and  the  proper  principles  of  Government. 
He  says  that  in  his  opinion  no  consideration  whatever  can  in 
any  case  justify  a  violation  of  truth.  I  told  him  that  such  a 
sentiment  was  rather  extraordinary  coming  from  a  diplomatic 
man.  He  declared  his  determination  never  to  depart  from  it. 
We  discussed  the  theory  of  human  rights  and  of  Government. 

1  Charge-d'affaires  from  Prussia.  lie  was  the  son  of  Baron  Bielfeld,  in  his 
time  also  in  the  diplomatic  service,  and  author  of  several  works  of  reputation  in 
his  day,  but  since  passed  into  oblivion. 


1795]  THE   MISSION  TO  HOLLAND.  %g 

We  soon  concluded  that  aristocracy,  feudality,  nobility,  could 
not  be  reconciled  with  a  Government  founded  upon  rights.  But 
whether  man  is  so  constructed  as  to  be  capable  of  living  in 
society  upon  any  plan  of  government  clearly  deducible  from 
a  theory  of  rights  was  then  a  question,  which  we  debated  until 
we  found  our  walk  at  an  end. 

13th.  A  day  of  idleness — that  is,  of  reading,  very  little  writ- 
ing, and  still  less  meditation.  It  is  an  easy  life ;  but  how  to 
reconcile  it  with  a  disposition  for  activity? 

The  Chevalier  d'Araujo,  the  Portuguese  Minister,  called  to 
see  me  this  evening,  and  we  had  much  conversation  upon  the 
present  situation  of  political  affairs.  He  appears  to  have  some 
feeble  hopes  of  a  peace  without  another  campaign  ;  but  I  do 
not  see  the  smallest  probability  for  it  whatever.  He  thinks  it 
will  depend  upon  the  will  of  the  British  Government,  and  was 
anxious  to  hear  from  England,  to  judge  from  thence  what  the 
prospects  are. 

15th.  Dined  at  the  Comte  de  Lovvenhielm's,  the  Minister  from 
Sweden.  The  French  Representatives  Alquier  and  Cochon, 
the  Greffier  of  the  States  General  Quarles,  Mr.  Dedem,  the 
Dutch  Minister  at  Constantinople  and  member  of  the  States 
General,  and  his  son,  Mr.  Lestevenon,  also  a  member  of  the 
States  General,  Baron  de  Schubart,  Minister  from  Denmark, 
and  his  secretary,  Mr.  Levsen,  Chevalier  d'Araujo,  Portuguese 
Minister,  Mr.  Bosset,  Minister  of  Brandebourg,  Mr.  Middleton, 
Minister  heretofore  from  Poland,  Baron  de  Rehausen,  a  Swedish 
gentleman,  and  General  Dumonceau,  the  officer  commanding 
at  the  Hague,  besides  the  Count's  family,  constituted  the  com- 
pany. The  dinner  was  made  for  the  French  Representatives, 
and  they  were  of  course  the  most  conspicuous  characters  there. 
Their  dress,  without  being  indecent,  was  negligent.  They  have 
not  yet  got  entirely  above  the  affectation  of  simplicity  or  of 
equality. 

France  and  Portugal  are  at  war.  Yet  in  consequence  of  the 
generous  system  pursued  by  the  French  from  the  time  of  their 
arrival  here,  D'Araujo  has  never  been  molested,  and  between 
these  representatives  of  nations  in  actual  hostility  the  most  per- 
fect civility  and  good  humour  was  observed  on  this  occasion. 


gQ  MEMO/AS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [March, 

D'Araujo  evidently  was  desirous  of  getting  acquainted  with  the 
Frenchmen,  of  engaging  them  in  conversation,  and  of  giving 
them  a  favourable  opinion  of  himself  by  a  discovery  of  his 
knowledge  and  attachment  to  the  arts  and  sciences.  Perhaps 
he  wants  to  obtain  the  means  of  getting  on  foot  a  negotiation 
for  peace  between  his  country  and  Spain  with  France.  Perhaps 
he  only  means  to  observe  as  accurately  as  possible,  and  for  that 
purpose  aims  at  establishing  a  sort  of  familiarity  with  them. 
That  he  was  solicitous  upon  the  point  was  evident ;  for  though 
he  was  seated  at  some  distance  from  the  Representative  Alquier 
at  the  table,  he  carried  on  a  conversation  during  the  whole 
dinner  time  with  him,  which  drew  the  attention  of  the  whole 
company.  It  was  entirely  upon  subjects  of  science  and  the 
arts.  There  was  a  kind  of  armed  neutrality  in  the  complexion 
of  his  speeches  that  led  me  to  suspect  whether  it  was  designed 
or  accidental.  He  said  several  things  calculated  to  be  agree- 
able, and  several  others  which  were  not  so.  Spoke  in  flattering 
terms  of  the  Abbe  Raynal,  as  a  writer.  It  was  wormwood,  but 
the  effect  appeared  only  upon  the  countenances  of  the  French- 
men. He  mentioned  as  a  lamentable  thing  that  Lavoisier,  the 
chemist,  had  perished  by  the  guillotine.  They  acquiesced  fully 
in  the  observation  ;  but  it  appeared  to  me  one  of  the  things 
to  be  avoided,  when  the  object  is  to  please.  He  attacked  the 
relations  of  the  French  traveller  Vaillant,  and  ridiculed  them,  as 
extravagantly  false  and  absurd.  Alquier  defended  them,  but 
with  perfect  good  humor.  He  observed  in  the  course  of  the 
conversation  that  they  have  still  two  eminent  chemists  in  the 
Convention,  Fourcroy  and  Guyton  de  Morveau.  He  men- 
tioned also  that  they  had  packed  up  a  great  number  of  the 
objects  of  curiosity  in  the  ci-devant  cabinet  of  the  Stadtholder 
to  send  to  France. 

During  the  relaxation  of  attention  that  I  could  afford  from 
this  conversation,  I  carried  on  a  particular  one  with  young 
Dedem,  who  has  been  nine  or  ten  years  with  his  father  at  Con- 
stantinople. During  that  period  he  travelled  in  Greece  and  in 
Egypt.  But  he  was  very  young,  and  I  know  from  experience 
to  how  little  advantage  a  man  travels  at  such  an  age.  He  gave 
me  a  number  of  details  relative  to  the  learning,  the  manners, 


1795]  THE   MISSION   TO   HOLLAND.  p! 

the  genius  and  character  of  the  Turks,  and  relative  to  his 
travels  into  Greece;  but  I  think  I  collected  little  or  no  new 
information  from  him.  His  sphere  of  observation  is  not  very 
extensive. 

I  had  before  dinner  a  little  conversation  with  his  father,  the 
Minister.  He  was  formerly  much  acquainted  with  my  father, 
and  one  of  the  Deputies  in  the  States  General  who  signed  the 
treaty  with  him.  He  enquired  particularly  with  regard  to  him. 
He  told  me  that  soon  after  the  period  of  my  father's  being 
here,  he  was  sent  to  Constantinople;  that  about  a  year  ago 
he  obtained  leave  of  absence  upon  a  visit  home;  and  just  at 
this  time  it  happens  the  revolution  has  taken  place,  at  which 
he  was  much  rejoiced.  Upon  the  observation  that  his  case 
was  singular,  to  have  remained  in  office  during  all  the  muta- 
tions that  have  taken  place,  he  said  that  after  the  revolution 
of  1787  the  Court  party  had  determined  to  involve  him  in  the 
common  dismission  of  all  the  patriots  in  office;  but  that  the 
expense  of  the  Turkish  Embassy  is  in  a  great  measure  sup- 
ported by  the  Council  of  Commerce,  which  consisted  princi- 
pally of  Amsterdam  members  ;  that  they  had  a  meeting  at  the 
time  in  question,  and  were  unanimous  for  having  him  continued 
in  office;  that  it  was  owing  solely  and  entirely  to  their  influ- 
ence that  he  was  not  recalled.  The  Court,  however,  he  adds, 
never  forgave  him  his  ancient  and  inveterate  patriotism,  and,  since 
his  return,  he  always  found  himself  observed,  shunned,  sus- 
pected there,  as  well  as  in  the  States  General.  That  whenever 
he  appeared  in  the  Assembly  nothing  was  transacted  while  he 
was  present,  and  he  has  often  seen  his  colleagues  from  his  own 
Province  whispering  very  busily  together;  but  upon  his  en- 
quiring whether  they  were  talking  upon  business,  they  invari- 
ably told  him  no,  and  he  often  put  an  end  to  their  conversation 
merely  by  going  towards  them. 

He  is  now  the  only  member  of  the  States  General  under  the 
old  Government  who  continues  to  be  so  still,  notwithstanding 
his  being  a  nobleman,  which  at  this  day  is  a  heavy  objection 
against  him.  He  has  escaped  untouched  during  both  the 
revolutions. 

Were  it  not  that  a  judgment  upon  the  character  of  the  man, 


Q2  MEMOIRS    OF   JOHN   QUINCY  ADAMS.  [March, 

after  seeing  him  only  once,  would  be  rash  and  presumptuous,  I 
should  be  led  to  suspect  that  there  is  a  reason  distinct  from 
those  of  superior  merit  or  good  fortune  which  might  contribute 
to  make  him  thus  a  singular  exception  to  the  total  alteration 
of  two  opposite  revolutions.  That  reason  would  be  derived 
from  his  personal  reputation,  perhaps  amiable  and  irreproach- 
able, and  not  such  as  to  make  him  an  object  of  fear  to  either 
party.  But  I  presume  the  Dutch  Embassy  at  Constantinople 
is  as  insignificant  in  the  system  of  their  policy  as  the  American 
Legation  at  the  Hague  is  in  that  of  the  United  States. 

Mr.  Lestevenon,  who  was  formerly  Minister  from  hence  in 
Sweden,  and  did  not  enjoy  the  same  exemption  with  the  other 
gentleman,  appears  to  be  a  more  expressive  character.  He  was 
one  of  E.'s  friends  here,  and  I  enquired  whether  he  had  re- 
turned to  this  country,  or  probably  would.  He  said  no.  The 
General  had  written  him  a  fortnight  or  three  weeks  since,  that 
he  was  coming  back;  but  he  did  not  think  he  would.  "The 
General,"  added  he,  "  is  an  ingenious,  sensible,  clever  man;  and 
you  rendered  him  a  great  service  at  Amsterdam."  "  By  no 
means,"  said  I ;  "  I  had  no  opportunity  to  render  him  any  ser- 
vice." 

I  had  a  very  few  words'  conversation  also  with  M.  Quarles, 
the  new.Greffier,  whom  I  now  saw  for  the  first  time.  There 
is  no  occasion  for  a  hasty  judgment  respecting  him,  as  I  shall 
probably  have  occasion  to  see  him  more  than  once  again. 

The  Representative  Alquier  excused  himself  to  me  for  not 
having  answered  my  two  applications  to  him  in  behalf  of  our 
commerce.  He  promised  me,  however,  that  I  should  have  an 
interview  to-morrow.  He  said  they  had  declared  by  an  arret 
that  all  neutral  commerce  and  navigation  with  this  country 
should  remain  open  and  without  obstruction. 

The  Representative  Cochon1  conversed  upon  the  state  of 
affairs  in  France.  He  talked  very  freely,  and  ventured  even  to 
censure  some  of  the  prevalent  habits  and  opinions.  He  spoke, 
as  they  all  do  at  present,  with  contempt  of  Robespierre,  and  with 

1  The  Count  Charles  Cochon  de  Lapparent  bent  to  the  storm,  and  became  an 
active  member  of  the  Convention.  He  succeeded  in  passing  safely  and  with  credit 
through  the  dangers  of  the  period,  and  died  in  1825,  at  an  advanced  age. 


1795]  TIIE   MISSION   TO   HOLLAND.  93 

horror  of  his  reign,  as  he  called  it;  regretted  very  much  the 
death  of  Bailly,  who  was  a  good  man,  and  a  great  loss  to  the 
sciences.  "  I  had  him,"  said  he,  "  five  weeks  concealed  in  my 
house  ;  but  I  should  not  have  said  it  six  months  ago."  Con- 
dorcet,  he  said,  was  a  loss  to  the  sciences,  but  as  to  his  morality, 
he  is  not  much  to  be  regretted  on  that  account.  Danton  was  a 
mauvais  sujet,  his  fate  is  not  to  be  lamented  ;  but  the  conspiracy 
for  which  he  perished  was  a  mere  trumpery  of  Robespierre. 
Cochon  was  then  in  mission  at  Valenciennes  ;  in  prison;  that 
is,  at  the  siege.  He  knew  but  little  about  these  events.  They 
are  not  fond  of  talking  of  them  to  strangers,  and  it  is  not  sur- 
prising that  they  are  unwilling  to  uncover  their  own  nakedness. 

17th.  Dined  at  the  Baron  de  Schubart's  ;  principally  with  the 
same  company  that  was  at  the  Swedish  Minister's  the  day  before 
yesterday.  Richard,  a  new  commissioner  from  the  Convention, 
has  arrived,  and  was  of  the  company,  as  was  also  Baron  Biel- 
feld.  Richard  maintained  the  principal  part  of  the  conversa- 
tion ;  it  was  altogether  upon  the  military  operations  of  their 
armies.  One  would  have  thought  from  his  account  that  they 
were  more  than  human  beings,  and  he  himself  infinitely  su- 
perior to  all  the  heroes  of  ancient  or  modern  times  in  the  art 
of  war.  There  was  indeed  one  particular  in  which  he  was 
certainly  comparable  with  Hannibal,  Sertorius,  and  Claudius 
Civilis — gasconade  is  a  part  of  his  policy  too.  These  people 
seem  to  think  the  rest  of  the  world  created  for  no  other  pur- 
pose than  to  admire  them.  All  their  heads  are  giddy  with 
their  own  greatness  and  power.  Pichegru  among  the  Gen- 
erals, and  Cochon,  of  the  Representatives,  from  whatever  I 
have  seen  of  them,  may  be  admitted  as  exceptions  to  this  rule. 
They  appear  to  have  the  gift  of  modesty,  which  is  not  among 
the  shining  qualities  of  the  others. 

Richard  was  prodigiously  rapid  in  his  talk ;  he  appeared  to 
be  afraid  that  time  would  fail  him  to  sing  the  praises  of  the 
army,  and  in  the  course  of  his  eloquence  often  gave  us  to 
understand,  with  those  intimations  with  which  vanity  imagines 
itself  sheltered  from  detection,  that  he  had  often  been  the  most 
important  character  in  the  army — the  life,  the  animating  prin- 
ciple, which  inspired  such  extraordinary  efforts. 


Q4  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [March, 

"  People  think,"  said  he,  "  that  we  would  not  make  peace  ; 
but  they  are  much  mistaken.  We  are  so  far  from  wishing  to 
continue  the  war,  that  there  is  a  power  of  whom  we  would  ask 
for  peace,  though  we  are  conquerors  :  we  would  say,  '  We  have 
taken  from  you  an  immense  territory;  we  have  reduced  you  to 
the  utmost  extremity;  we  will  return  it  all  to  you,  if  you  will 
make  a  peace  which  shall  restore  us  what  was  ours  ;'  and  they 
would  not  accept  our  terms.  They  think  we  are  exhausted; 
that  we  cannot  carry  on  the  war  any  longer  ;  that  we  have  no 
further  supply  of  men.  Well,  we  shall  meet  them  upon  that 
ground  as  long  as  they  please.  They  have  said  the  same  thing 
these  three  years.  Our  first  requisition  raised  100,000  men; 
the  second,  three ;  the  third,  eight  or  nine ;  and  now  we  can 
raise  as  many  more  when  we  please.  Austria  will  not  be  rea- 
sonable till  she  has  been  beaten  a  little  more  severely.  Clair- 
fait  must  go  on  in  his  career,  and  he  has  excellent  troops. 
This  war  has  been  fatal  to  many  military  reputations,  though 
that  of  Clairfait  has  not  suffered.  He  has  been  unfortunate, 
and  has  not  been  supported ;  the  Generals  of  both  wings  in 
the  Austrian  army  have  been  sacrificed  to  the  jealousy  of  the 
Commander-in-Chief;  but  we  have  a  great  esteem  for  Clair- 
fait. However,  we  hope  to  give  a  good  account  of  him.  They 
talk  about  experienced  Generals;  but  in  our  mode  of  warfare 
experience  is  learned  in  a  campaign  ;  a  General  does  the  duty 
of  a  soldier,  and  is  in  the  midst  of  the  action.  According  to 
the  old-fashioned  style  of  war,  the  General  is  at  three  or  four 
leagues  from  his  army  ;  but  how  can  he  manoeuvre  to  any  ad- 
vantage at  that  distance?  At  the  beginning  of  the  last  cam- 
paign the  allies  manoeuvred  three  times  to  our  once ;  and  at 
the  close  of  it  I  am  sure  we  manoeuvred  five  times  to  their 
once."  "  Our  troops,"  he  continued,  "  scarcely  seem  subject  to 
the  wants  of  humanity;  they  live  days  and  even  sometimes  a 
week  together  without  food,  without  clothing,  and  without 
sleep.  We  have  no  tents,  no  camp  baggage.  Often  after  six- 
teen or  seventeen  hours  of  battle,  worn  out,  exhausted,  unable 
to  move,  our  soldiers  stretch  themselves  upon  the  bare  ground, 
without  covering,  cold  or  hot,  moist  or  dry,  and  enjoy  the 
sweetest  sleep  imaginable.     I  have  found  it  infinitely  more  de- 


I795-]  THE  MISS/ON  TO   HOLLAND.  95 

licious  than  at  any  other  time  in  bed  and  under  cover."  Here 
he  was  interrupted  by  his  colleague  Alquier,  who  said  he  was 
not  of  that  opinion,  and  a  little  discussion  arose  upon  the  sub- 
ject between  them.  It  did  not,  however,  detain  Richard  long; 
he  soon  returned  to  his  favorite  topic,  which  he  scarcely  sus- 
pended for  a  moment  from  the  time  we  sat  down  to  dinner  until 
the  company  broke  up. 

In  the  mean  time  Mr.  d'Araujo  had  fastened  again  upon 
Alquier  and  had  a  very  long  particular  conversation  with  him, 
in  which  the  company  in  general  did  not  participate.  After  the 
Representatives  were  gone,  he  enquired  of  me  whether  there 
is  now  any  American  vessel  going  to  Spain  or  Portugal.  I 
asked  him  whether  he  had  learned  if  peace  is  made  or  making 
between  them  and  France.  He  said  there  had  been  something 
done,  but  it  was  not  finished.  He  certainly  wants  to  bring  for- 
ward a  negotiation,  or  to  have  the  appearance  of  it. 

The  French  Representatives  affected  to  give  encouragement 
to  Mr.  Middleton,  the  former  Resident  from  Poland,  as  to  a 
new  Revolution  to  restore  his  country's  independence.  He 
said  the  business  was  too  thoroughly  done.  But  they  told  him 
to  keep  up  his  spirits,  and  Alquier  toasted  "  success  to  his 
hopes."  The  toast  immediately  went  all  round  the  table,  and 
was  pledged  by  Bielfeld  himself.  D'Araujo  was  the  only  one 
who  avoided  it,  and  in  a  good-humored  manner  recommended 
to  Middleton  to  communicate  the  toast  to  M.  de  Kalitcheff, 
the  Russian  Minister  here,  who  went  away  since  the  French 
arrived. 

The  Representatives  Alquier  and  Cochon  repeated  the 
strongest  assurances  that  they  meant  to  give  every  facility  to 
neutral  commerce  and  navigation — that  as  it  respected  the 
United  States,  this  disposition  was  the  result  of  sentiment  as 
well  as  of  interest. 

Alquier  apologized  for  not  having  sent  me  the  answer  he 
had  promised  me  on  Sunday,  and  said  I  should  receive  it  this 
day;  that  upon  my  return  home  I  should  undoubtedly  find  it 
there.  He  invited  me  to  dine  with  them  sans  ceremonie  to- 
morrow. 

At  table  I   enquired   of  Mr.  Dedem,  the  elder,  why  they 


q6  MEMOIRS    OF   JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [March, 

thought  proper  to  interrupt  the  communication  with  England, 
and  whether  it  was  likely  to  be  restored.  He  told  me  they  had 
the  best  dispositions  for  it  possible  here,  but  I  must  be  sensible 
the  inclinations  of  the  French  Representatives  must  be  con- 
sulted, and  any  alteration  must  be  solicited  of  them. 

"  Disguise  thyself  as  thou  wilt,  Slavery,  still  thou  art  a  bitter 
draught!"  These  people,  French  and  Dutch,  cannot  on  either 
side  carry  through  their  farce  of  equality,  of  independence,  or 
of  republicanism.  In  the  midst  of  all  the  forms  which  they 
cast  around  the  real  substance  of  things,  the  respective  situa- 
tions and  the  prevalent  ideas  arising  from  each  break  through 
upon  all  occasions.  On  one  side  politeness  has  the  garb  of 
condescension,  on  the  other  it  degenerates  into  flattery ;  their 
equality  and  fraternity  are  good  as  a  subject  of  declamation, 
but  there  is  nothing  of  it  in  their  manners  and  practice. 

"We  have  left  everybody  quiet  here,"  said  Alquier;  "we 
have  disturbed  nobody.  Monsieur  the  Charge-d'affaires  of 
Prussia  can  bear  us  witness  to  that;"  and,  saying  this,  turned 
to  Bielfeld,  by  way  of  appeal  to  him  for  the  truth  of  what  he 
said.  Bielfeld  said  that  certainly  he  had  every  possible  reason 
to  be  content  with  their  treatment  of  him.  He  remarked  this 
circumstance  afterwards  to  me,  and  said  the  fact  was  certainly 
true.  But  Alquier's  politeness  would  have  suffered  no  diminu- 
tion if  he  had  forborne  to  remind  him  of  it. 

Upon  my  return  home  I  did  not  find  the  answer  which  Al- 
quier had  promised  me;  nor  did  I  receive  it  this  day. 

1 8th.  Dined  with  the  French  Representatives,  with  a  numer- 
ous company,  diplomatic,  civil,  and  military.  The  wife  of  the 
Representative  Richard,  a  young  and  beautiful  woman,  was  the 
only  lady  present.  I  was  seated  at  table  between  Richard  and 
the  Grefifier  Quarles.  Richard  told  me  that  he  was  well  ac- 
quainted with  Mr.  Monroe,  who  was  much  esteemed  and  re- 
spected at  Paris.  He  spoke  of  the  President1  in  the  most 
respectful  terms,  and  said  he  was  a  great  man,  and  deserving 
of  veneration  from  all  mankind.  I  told  him  that  such  was  our 
opinion  in  America.  "  And  it  is  the  general  opinion  in  France, 
too,"  said  he.     "  There  may  be  some  exceptions,  because  great 

1   Washington. 


1 795-]  THE   MISS  10 X   TO   HOLLAND.  gy 

pains  have  been  taken  to  prejudice  minds  against  him  ;  but  in 
general  we  know  from  what  a  perfidious   quarter  those  pains 
came,  and  therefore   they  have   been   in   general    unsuccessful. 
We  had  a  Minister  in  the  United  States,  Genest,  who  conducted 
himself  imprudently  there,  and  we  disavowed  all  his  miscon- 
duct.    Genest's  intentions  I  believe  were  not  bad;  but  he  fell 
into  bad  hands  upon  his  arrival  in  America,  and  was  impelled 
to  his  offensive  conduct  by  people  of  the  country,  who  wanted 
to  produce  a  discord  between  your  Government  and  our  Min- 
ister to  serve  their  personal  views.     The   British   fomented  it, 
and  were  very  glad  to  see  the  designs  of  disturbing  the  friend- 
ship between  France  and  the  United  States.    They  were  at  the 
same  time  intriguing  with  us,  to  make  us  believe  the  American 
Government  was  hostile   to   France.     It  was  the   detection  of 
some  manoeuvres  of  this  kind  which  opened  the  eyes  of  many 
people  among  us,  and  convinced  them  that  they  had  been  mis- 
taken in  supposing  your  President  unfriendly  to  our  cause.     I 
am  sorry  for  Genest,  because  he  is  a  man  of  talents,  and  meant 
well,  I  believe,  though  he  got  led  into  trouble  by  bad  advisers. 
We  have  now  sent  out  Adet,  a  very  able  and  very  excellent 
man.      Fauchet  is  a  man  of  abilities,  but  he  is  a  young  man, 
and  not  equal  to  an  embassy  so  important  as  that  of  the  United 
States;  we  consider  it  as  an  embassy  of  the  first   importance, 
and  have  now  sent  a  man  who,  by  his  talents  and  by  his  man- 
ners, will  be  fully  equal  to  it." 

Upon  mention  of  the  late  decree  of  the  Convention,  restor- 
ing the  members  heretofore  outlawed,  "  Yes,"  said  he,  "and  I 
am  very  glad  to  hear  of  it.  I  want  to  see  everything  disappear 
of  that  system  which  for  fourteen  months  desolated  France.  I 
was  so  fortunate  myself  as  to  be  absent  in  mission  with  the 
armies  almost  the  whole  of  that  time,  and  was  always  glad  to 
be  absent  in  those  cruel  times." 

He  again  returned  to  his  favorite  topic  of  the  miracles  per- 
formed by  their  armies ;  mentioned  that  under  their  former 
government  they  had  troops  who  fought  very  well  in  the  war 
of  our  Independence ;  but  the  officers,  who  were  then  and  are 
now  in  the  service,  say  that  the  troops  do  infinitely  greater 
wonders  now  than  they  did  then.  Pichegru  himself  was  to 
VOL.  i. — 7 


q3  MEMOIRS    OF   JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [March, 

have  gone  to  America  during  that  war;  he  was  embarked  at 
Cadiz,  being  then  an  officer  of  cavalry ;  but  the  expedition 
was  countermanded.  "  Our  armies  were  then  fighting  for  your 
liberty,  and  that  gave  them  an  extraordinary  ardor ;  but  now 
they  fight  for  their  own,  and  nothing  is  impossible  to  them. 
We  don't  allow  ourselves  in  the  campaign  more  than  two  or 
three  hours'  sleep  in  a  night ;  and  I  remember  I  once  was  so 
totally  exhausted  that  I  fell  asleep  on  my  horse  in  the  midst  of 
an  action."  Such  an  instance  of  indifference  to  danger  could 
not  possibly  be  heard  without  notice  and  admiration,  and,  to 
qualify  the  exalted  opinion  of  his  courage  with  an  idea  of 
modesty  equally  supernatural,  he  added,  "  It  is  true,  I  was 
then  exposed  to  the  danger  only  of  the  cannon.  But  upon 
simple  marches  I  have  very  often  slept  three  and  four  hours  at 
a  time  upon  my  horse,  as  we  went  along.  At  the  beginning 
of  the  war,  it  was  absolutely  necessary  for  the  Representatives 
in  mission  to  be  the  first  to  expose  themselves  to  every  personal 
danger  and  every  hardship,  because  the  good  will  of  the  sol- 
diers to  hazard  and  endure  depended  very  much  upon  having 
the  example  set  them  by  us.  But  now  it  is  so  universal  a 
thing,  and  they  have  been  so  long  used  to  it,  that  they  go  on 
without  minding,  and  often  without  knowing,  whether  the 
Representative  is  with  them  or  not.  Our  maxim  is,  that  what- 
ever an  army  is  commanded  to  do,  it  must  do.  So  if  we  have 
an  enemy  before  us,  we  attack  ;  we  fight  all  day ;  but  if  we  have 
not  beaten  him,  we  sleep  upon  the  field  ;  as  soon  as  daylight  ap- 
pears, we  attack  again,  and  continue  fighting  in  this  way  until 
we  succeed  in  our  object." 

This  is  certainly  the  true  system  of  war  which  the  French 
armies  have  pursued :  it  has  been  crowned  with  complete  suc- 
cess, and  must  necessarily  be  so,  when  it  is  practised  by  brave 
men  and  a  powerful  superiority  of  numbers  ;  but  both  these  cir- 
cumstances are  requisite  to  give  any  utility  whatever  to  this 
art  of  war.  In  any  other  case  it  must  be  pernicious  and  de- 
structive. 

We  had  a  band  of  music  playing  during  the  dinner.  Ri- 
chard asked  me  whether  there  was  much  taste  for  music  in 
America.     I    told   him   no ;   that  American    genius   was   very 


1795]  Tf/E   MISSION  TO  HOLLAND.  99 

much  addicted  to  painting,  and  we  had  produced  in  that  art 
some  of  the  greatest  masters  of  the  age ;  but  that  we  had 
neither  cultivated  nor  were  attached  much  to  music;  that  it 
had  always  appeared  to  me  a  singular  phenomenon  in  the  na- 
tional character,  and  I  could  not  account  for  it  otherwise  than 
by  supposing  it  owing  to  some  particular  construction  of  our 
fibres,  that  we  were  created  without  a  strong  devotion  to  music. 
"Oh,  do  not  say  so!"  said  he;  "you  will  be  chargeable  with 
high  treason  against  the  character  of  your  country  for  such  a 
sentiment,  especially  if  you  were  to  deliver  it  to  an  Italian  or 
French  connoisseur  and  virtuoso."  "  I  suppose  so,"  said  I ; 
"but  then  I  must  rely  for  my  pardon  upon  the  other  tribute 
which  I  have  paid  to  my  country's  genius  in  the  article  of 
painting.  As  for  the  rest,"  I  added,  "  I  pretend  not  to  trace 
the  cause  of  the  fact,  but  music  is  not  an  object  of  enthusiasm 
in  America;  and  that  Marseillaise  hymn,  that  your  band  are 
now  playing,  reminds  me  of  a  forcible  proof  of  the  fact  I  have 
stated.  The  Americans  fought  seven  years  and  more  for  their 
liberty.  If  ever  a  people  had  occasion  to  combine  the  sensa- 
tions of  harmony  with  the  spirit  of  patriotism,  they  had  it 
during  that  time.  Yet  there  never  was  during  the  whole  period 
a  single  song  written,  nor  a  single  tune  composed,  which  elec- 
trised every  soul,  and  was  resounded  by  every  voice,  like  your 
patriotic  songs."  "That  is  indeed,"  said  he,  "a  very  strong 
fact."  I  told  him  that  if  I  could  be  permitted  to  cite  myself  as 
an  instance,  I  am  extremely  fond  of  music,  and  by  dint  of  great 
pains  have  learnt  to  blow  very  badly  the  flute — but  could  never 
learn  to  perform  upon  the  violin,  because  I  never  could  acquire 
the  art  of  putting  the  instrument  in  tune — that  I  consoled  my- 
self with  the  idea  of  being  an  American,  and  therefore  not 
susceptible  of  great  musical  powers  ;  though  I  must  do  my 
countrymen  the  justice  to  say  that  few  of  them  are  so  very  dull 
as  this;  that  I  knew  many  who  had  a  musical  ear,  and  could 
tune  an  instrument  with  little  or  no  instruction  at  all. 

I  know  not  whether  the  Representative  Richard  finally  con- 
cluded that  I  was  guilty  of  debasing  the  genius  of  my  country; 
but  the  American  character  needs  no  speaking-trumpet  of 
vanity  to  proclaim  its  praise.     For  us  the  voice  of  truth  and 


100 


MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [March, 


of  justice  is  enough  ;  and  on  that  ground  we  shall  never  dread 
the  test  of  comparison  with  any  nation  upon  earth. 

In  the  midst  of  this  discussion  an  incident  occurred  which 
gave  a  full  proof  that  some  of  the  musical  enthusiasm  which 
Richard  thought  so  essential  an  attribute  of  the  dignified  human 
character,  is,  among  the  French,  the  result  of  fashion,  and  not  of 
an  accurate  and  discerning  taste. 

Alquier  complained  that  the  music  performing  was  bad,  and, 
after  some  time,  declared  that  one  of  the  clarionets  was  dis- 
cordant. The  director  of  the  band  was  called,  and  ordered  to 
make  the  harmony  more  complete.  The  discord,  however,  con- 
tinued. At  length  Richard  assured  Alquier  that  there  was 
none — that  the  effect  only  proceeded  from  the  loudness  of  the 
instrument,  and  its  proximity.  Alquier  insisted,  and  appealed 
to  Madame  Richard,  who  confirmed  his  judgment.  The  clario- 
net was  pronounced  discordant,  and  the  decision,  as  far  as  I 
could  judge,  was  just.  On  one  side  or  the  other  a  discerning 
ear  was  certainly  deficient;  and  both  were  too  much  in  the  ton 
not  to  be  enthusiastic  musicians,  for  Alquier  made  a  number  of 
grimaces  and  shrugged  his  shoulders  at  every  grating  sound ; 
while  Richard,  in  the  full  confidence  of  delicious  enjoyment, 
was  positive  that  there  was  not  a  discordant  sound. 

He  returned  to  the  subject  of  painting;  asked  me  the  names 
of  our  great  painters,  and  whether  they  were  historical  painters. 
I  mentioned,  among  the  others,  Trumbull,  and  his  design  of 
painting  a  series  to  give  the  history  of  our  war — with  his  two 
first  pictures,  and  the  engravings  nearly  finished,  of  the  deaths 
of  Warren  and  Montgomery. 

He  enquired  whether  we  had  any  of  the  originals  of  the 
greatest  masters  of  the  schools.  I  answered  very  few.  "  Ah  ! 
parbleu,"  said  he,  "  vous  me  faites  venir  une  idee."  "Yes,"  put- 
ting his  finger  to  his  forehead  as  a  promise  of  remembrance, 
"yes,"  said  he,  "I  will  remember  it.  1  will  not  forget  this  idea." 
He  paused  a  moment,  and  then  added,  "  We  will  send  you 
some.  You  must  form  a  National  Gallery.  We  will  send  you 
a  number  of  very  fine  pictures.  We  can  do  it  as  well  as  not, 
for  our  Government  has  got  an  immense  number  of  them. 
How  do  you  think  such  a  present  would  be  received?"     "  No 


1795]  IHE   MISSION    TO   HOLLAND.  IOi 

doubt  it  would  be  received,"  said  I,  "with  all  the  gratitude  that 
would  be  due  to  it."  "  Well,"  said  he,  "  it  is  a  good  idea,  and 
I  will  not  forget  it."  I  believe  my  promise  of  gratitude  is  as 
good  as  his  promise  of  pictures. 

I  had  also  some  conversation  with  the  Grefficr  Quarles.  He 
said  he  should  have  gone  to  America  had  not  the  late  Revo- 
lution taken  place'  mentioned  his  having  been  obliged  to 
resign  his  former  office  of  Deputy  Greffier  after  the  Revolution 
of  1787;  that,  after  that,  he  had  retired  into  the  country  and 
lived  as  a  farmer  about  five  years,  until  he  was  called  from  his 
obscurity  again  by  the  late  change  of  affairs. 

He  enquired  after  my  father,  whom  he  knew  when  here.  "I 
remember,"  said  he,  "  that  soon  after  his  admission  here  as 
American  Minister,  I  saw  him  one  day  and  asked  him  how  he 
liked  the  country,  etc.  He  said  he  had  that  day  remarked  a 
circumstance  for  which  he  could  not  well  account.  That,  having 
occasion  to  present  a  memorial  to  the  States  General,  he  went 
in  the  morning  according  to  custom,  and  delivered  it  to  the 
President;  that,  afterwards,  he  had  been  to  visit  the  Prince 
Stadtholder,  and  was  very  much  surprised  to  see  the  same  man, 
who  in  the  morning  had  received  him  formally  as  President, 
then  open  the  door  to  him  as  the  Prince's  valet,  otherwise  called 
his  chamberlain." 

I  told  him  that  it  was  unquestionably  an  absurdity  under 
their  former  Government,  to  see,  the  same  day,  a  man  acting  the 
double  part  of  head  of  the  Legislative  body  and  of  a  personal 
retainer  to  the  executive  Chief;  but  that  probably  nothing  of 
this  kind  would  be  seen  under  the  new  order  of  things;  to 
which  he  assented. 

He  enquired  respecting  Mr.  Dumas.  I  told  him  I  had  un- 
derstood he  had  demanded  that  a  resolution  of  the  States 
General,  passed  in  the  year  1788,  respecting  him,  and,  as  he 
thought,  injurious  to  his  honor,  should  be  rescinded.  Enquired 
whether  it  had  been  done.  He  said  no ;  that  some  sort  of 
resolution  had  been  taken,  but  the  former  record  could  not  be 
erased  unless  I  would  take  some  measure  in  his  behalf;  that 
if  the  Government  of  the  United  States  would  interest  them- 
selves in  his  favor,  there  was  no  doubt  every  attention  would 


102  MEMOIRS    OF   JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [March, 

be  paid  to  their  representations,  and  he  appeared  desirous  that 
I  should  embark  in  the  cause.  I  told  him  that  I  was  not 
thoroughly  informed  of  the  transaction,  and  if  Mr.  Dumas 
desired  the  interference  of  the  American  Government,  I  was 
persuaded  he  would  solicit  it. 

Richard  enquired  if  there  were  many  French  emigrants  in 
America.  I  told  him  very  few.  "  Those  emigrants  are  very 
dangerous  people,"  said  he ;  "  I  hope  your  Government  will 
keep  a  watch  over  them.  They  have  deep  designs,  and  may 
be  intriguing  when  there  is  no  suspicion  of  them.  Though  I 
am  persuaded,"  said  he,  "  that  a  great  many  people  have  been 
forced  to  emigrate,  who  would  never  have  done  it  from  choice, 
but  were  driven  to  it  by  terror.  Have  you  many  of  the  emi- 
grants of  the  old  monarchy?"  I  answered  I  knew  of  none. 
"No,"  said  he,  "that  is  not  the  country  in  which  they  sought 
refuge."  "There  are  a  few  constitutional  emigrants,"  said  I. 
"  Yes  ;  there  is  Noailles,"  said  he.  "  Noailles  went  to  the  public 
audience  of  the  President  with  the  old  French  uniform  and  a 
white  cockade,  and  announced  himself  as  the  Vicomte  de  No- 
ailles, a  French  officer.  The  President  told  him  he  knew  no 
Vicomte  de  Noailles,  and  no  French  officer  in  that  uniform. 
Then  he  attempted  to  get  introduced  to  the  private  audience  of 
the  President,  but  met  with  an  equal  repulse  there,  and  the 
President  would  not  see  him."  I  know  not  where  he  got  this 
story.  I  make  some  question  of  the  facts,  but  made  no  obser- 
vation to  him  on  the  subject. 

I  enquired  of  him  what  is  at  this  time  the  state  of  cultivation 
in  France.  "  Greater  than  ever  it  was,"  said  he.  "  I  have  just 
travelled  the  country  from  Paris  here.  It  is  everywhere  in  a 
high  state  of  cultivation.  The  grain  is  already  grown  two  or 
three  inches  high.  All  France  is  in  a  higher  state  of  cultivation 
than  it  was  before  the  Revolution,  because  many  hunting- 
grounds  have  been  converted  into  grain-fields.  The  English 
traveller,  Arthur  Young,  says,  that  wherever  he  found  a  chateau, 
there  he  found  barrenness  all  round  it  for  some  distance  ;  but 
he  would  not  find  it  so  now.  Notwithstanding  the  great  armies 
we  have  on  foot,  men  are  not  wanting  for  cultivation,  because 
our  population  was  so  great  heretofore,  that  five  or  six  men 


1795]  THE   MISSION   TO   HOLLAND.  IO, 

were  taken  to  do  the  labor  that  may  be  done  by  one.  A 
peasant,  for  instance,  would  have  a  certain  field  to  labor  with 
three  or  four  sons;  all  labored  partially,  because  none  could 
labor  elsewhere.  But  now  the  sons  come  to  the  armies,  and 
the  father  remains  behind,  and  is  able  to  do  all  the  work  him- 
self. Our  vineyards  are  carried  to  a  greater  perfection  than 
they  have  ever  been."  He  then  enquired  whether  we  had 
vineyards  in  America.  I  answered  that  all  attempts  to  intro- 
duce them  hitherto  had  failed.  He  recommended  very  strongly 
perseverance  in  the  attempt,  and  said  we  could  easily  get  as- 
sistance for  the  purpose  from  France.  I  replied  that  as  long 
as  our  people  could  get  foreign  wines  better  and  cheaper  than 
they  could  be  raised  among  ourselves,  we  should  probably  not 
succeed  in  raising  them  at  home.  It  will  be  well  to  obtain  in- 
formation on  this  head. 

After  we  rose  from  table  I  had  some  conversation  with  one 
of  the  officers,  and  one  of  the  Secretaries  ;  their  names  were 
unknown  to  me.  Very  civil,  polite  people.  The  Secretary  said 
he  believed  the  English  were  very  glad  that  the  slaves  had  been 
freed  in  the  French  islands ;  that  he  supposed,  after  this  war, 
all  the  West  Indies  would  be  free  and  independent  of  any 
European  control ;  that  by  their  proximity  to  a  free  country 
they  would  naturally  imbibe  the  spirit  of  freedom.  I  told  him 
I  somewhat  questioned  that;  that  our  intercourse  with  the 
West  Indies  was  simply  commercial,  and  we  had  no  political 
communications  with  them  at  all.  "Then  the  propagating 
madness  has  not  reached  you  ?"  said  he.  "  Madness  !"  said  I. 
"  Do  you  venture  to  call  it  madness?  Your  Government  seemed 
to  countenance  the  system  at  one  period,  and  even  since  your 
arrival  here,  some  of  your  countrymen  have  told  me  you  were 
very  soon  going  to  London."  "  Oh,  yes,"  said  he,  "  I  hope  we 
shall  have  the  pleasure  of  seeing  you  there  to  breakfast;  and  if 
you  please,  we  will  dine  together  on  the  same  day  at  Vienna, 
and  take  lodgings  that  night  at  Constantinople.  But  to  be 
serious,  I  hope  you  will  not  attribute  to  'the  French  Nation 
such  a  wild  system  as  that."  I  told  him  I  had  always  done 
them  more  justice;  but  I  was  afraid  such  an  opinio)i,  though 
without  foundation,  would  have  a  tendency  to  protract  the  war. 


I04  MEMOIRS    OF  JOHN   QUINCY  ADAMS.  [March, 

They  were  a  conquering  Nation,  and  whatever  moderation  con- 
querors might  have,  it  was  extremely  difficult  to  establish  an 
opinion  of  it.  "  Ah  !"  said  he,  "  if  we  could  but  conquer  our 
happiness ;  if  we  could  but  become  a  happy  Nation  !" 

Young  Dedem  exhibited  a  great  number  of  views  and 
figures,  drawn  by  him  from  the  life  in  Turkey,  Greece,  and 
Egypt.  They  were  very  well  drawn,  very  well  colored,  de- 
signed with  taste,  and  executed  with  a  delicate  pencil.  His 
father  was  very  proud  of  them,  and  through  him  the  Repre- 
sentative Alquier  paid  the  young  man  many  well-deserved  com- 
pliments upon  his  possessing  this  useful  and  agreeable  talent. 
He  was  highly  gratified  with  the  praise,  and  it  was  a  well- 
earned  reward. 

Baron  Schubart  told  me  his  courier  to  Hamburg  would  not 
go  till  Friday.  I  took  the  opportunity  to  mention  to  the 
Representative  Alquier  my  desire  for  an  answer  which  he  had 
promised  me.  He  made  all  possible  apologies  for  not  having 
sent  it  before;  and  excused,  with  all  the  disarming  complaisance 
which  is  so  much  at  their  command,  his  want  of  punctuality, 
that  I  could  not  possibly  think  of  it  with  any  dissatisfaction. 
It  was  all  repaired,  and  I  was  promised  that  my  answer  should 
infallibly  be  sent  me  by  to-morrow,  2  o'clock  p.m.  The  only 
reason  why  I  had  not  yet  received  it,  because  the  Secretaries 
had  been  so  much  engaged  that  they  had  not  yet  made  out  the 
copies  in  all  the  registers. 

In  my  turn  I  apologized  for  repeating  so  frequently  my  so- 
licitations, and  withdrew. 

23d.  Mr.  Petry  dined  with  us.  This  gentleman  I  saw 
in  Paris  in  the  years  1778  and  1783.  He  is  an  English- 
man, but  has  been  more  or  less  connected  with  many  Ameri- 
cans. He  told  us,  among  other  things,  several  anecdotes 
relative  to  the  famous  contest  between  our  former  Commis- 
sioners, Deane  and  Lee.  In  February,  1778,  he  says,  very 
soon  after  the  Treaty  between  France  and  the  United  States 
was  concluded,  and  on  the  day  when  the  American  Commis- 
sioners were  first  presented  at  the  Court,  he  went  with  them  to 
Versailles  ;  that  on  his  return  he  received  letters  from  Eng- 
land, and  in  one  of  them  his  friend  says  to  him,  "  You  have 


1795]  THE   MISSION  TO  HOLLAND.  I05 

been  very  secret  in  not  communicating  the  Treaty  lately  signed 
in  Paris,  while  I  have  seen  a  letter  with  intelligence  direct 
from  one  of  the  Commissioners,  which  says,  '  Last  night  the 
new  articles  of  partnership  were  signed,  and  whatever  the  old 
partner  may  think  of  them,  it  is  still  in  his  power,  if  he  pleases, 
to  come  in  for  a  good  share.'  "  This  extract  Petry  then  read 
to  Deane,  who  was  already  recalled  home,  and  was  to  set  out 
the  next  day  from  Paris,  to  sail  for  America.  Deane  asked  his 
leave  to  take  a  copy  of  the  above  quotation,  which  Petry  con- 
sented to.  Deane  afterwards  brought  several  charges  against 
the  Lees,  and  among  others  that  of  having  given  advice  in 
England  of  that  Treaty's  being  signed,  contrary  to  the  express 
and  solemn  obligation  of  all  the  Commissioners,  who  had 
agreed  that  it  should  not  be  divulged  to  any  one  within  forty 
days  afterwards.  The  fact  of  divulging  was  very  positively 
denied  by  the  Lees;  and  Deane,  not  having  the  authentic  docu- 
ment, afterwards  wrote  to  Dr.  Bancroft  a  letter  in  cypher ;  but 
the  postscript  to  which  was  uncyphered,  and  was  thus  :  "  Ask 
our  friend  Petry  for  that  letter  which  contains  the  proof  of 
Lee's  having  written  to  England  that  the  Treaty  was  signed, 
on  the  day  when  it  happened."  This  letter  was  intercepted, 
published  in  the  American  newspapers,  and  from  them  ex- 
tracted into  the  English.  When  they  appeared  in  the  latter, 
Petry  was  in  Paris,  as  was  also  Arthur  Lee.  William  Lee,  the 
former  Alderman  of  London,  was  then  at  Frankfort.  Arthur 
Lee  wrote  Petry  a  civil  and  gentlemanly  billet,  requesting  him 
to  declare  positively  whether  he  had  ever  known  of  any  letter 
written  by  him,  Arthur  Lee,  which  could  authorize  the  asser- 
tion contained  in  Deane's  postscript.  Petry  answered  that 
from  the  terms  upon  which  Mr.  Arthur  Lee  and  he  had  been, 
he  should  have  expected  Mr.  Lee  would  have  made  an  ami- 
cable and  verbal  enquiry,  and  received  his  answer  in  that  way; 
that,  however,  he  would  answer  him  with  the  utmost  candor 
and  frankness,  that  he  had  every  reason  to  believe  the  letter  to 
which  Mr.  Deane's  postscript  referred  was  not  written  by  him, 
Mr.  Arthur  Lee,  but  by  his  brother,  the  Alderman.  Lee  re- 
plied, thanked  Petry  for  his  very  civil  and  polite  explanation, 
but  said  the  circumstance  as  to  his  brother  must  have  arisen 


I06  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [March, 

from  some  mistake,  as,  to  his  certain  knowledge,  the  signature 
of  the  Treaty  was  not  known  to  his  brother  until  six  weeks 
after  it  took  place.  The  forms  in  this  instance,  says  Mr.  Petry, 
were  well  enough;  but  the  lie  was  unnecessary,  and  could  an- 
swer no  purpose.  But  William  Lee  took  the  matter  up  in  a 
very  different  manner.  He  wrote  from  Frankfort  to  Petry,  de- 
manding in  the  most  peremptory  manner  of  him  a  positive 
declaration  that  what  he  had  said  was  without  foundation,  and 
an  explicit  answer  from  whom  he  had  the  story,  or  else  that  he 
would  meet  Lee  at  Valenciennes  on  a  given  day,  but  a  short 
time  distant.  Petry  had  scarcely  time  after  receiving  the  letter 
to  take  post  horses  and  reach  Valenciennes  on  the  day  as- 
signed. He  then  wrote  to  Lee  that  had  his  conduct  or  letter 
to  him  been  conformable  to  the  common  rules  of  civility 
among  gentlemen,  he  would  have  answered  him  fully  and 
explicitly;  but  that  the  tone  he  had  assumed  was  such  as  pre- 
cluded any  other  answer  than  that  he  was  at  Valenciennes,  ac- 
cording to  Mr.  Lee's  invitation,  and  ready  to  receive  his  com- 
mands. He  sent  this  billet  to  Lee's  lodgings,  but,  not  hearing 
from  him  in  return,  sent  again  the  next  morning,  and  was  told 
that  Lee  had  taken  post  horses  and  set  out  on  his  return  to 
Frankfort.  "And  from  that  time,"  said  he,  "  I  heard  no  more 
from  him.  The  truth  of  the  fact  was,"  continues  Mr.  Petry, 
"  that  William  Lee  wrote  the  original  paragraph,  which  gave 
occasion  to  all  this  altercation,  to  Edmund  Jennings,  then  in 

London.    Jennings  showed  it  to  Mr. ,  who  was  the  person 

that  wrote  the  account  to  me." 

This  conversation  of  Petry  is  here  minuted  as  accurately 
as  an  attentive  recollection  could  take  from  his  own  words, 
because  it  is  a  testimony  from  the  first  hand  of  a  circum- 
stance which  will  be  doubtless  noticed  in  the  general  history 
of  America.  Not  a  word  is  added,  not  a  word  is  diminished. 
The  two  principals  of  that  contest,  which  became  almost  na- 
tional, have  lost  the  enmities  and  all  the  personal  passions 
which  could  actuate  either  of  them,  in  the  silence  of  the  grave. 
As  a  matter  of  fact,  it  is  now  an  incident  to  be  ascertained, 
and  the  declaration  of  an  agent  in  the  business  deserves  par- 
ticular notice. 


1795]  THE   MISSION   TO  HOLLAND.  \qj 

Petry  says  every  probability  indicates  that  Deane's  death 
was  voluntary  and  self-administered.  That  he  was  at  Graves- 
end,  on  board  a  vessel  destined  for  America,  to  which  he  was 
returning,  after  having  been  for  some  time  in  extreme  misery 
in  London,  and  supported  principally  by  Lord  Sheffield  and 
his  friends.  His  brother  in  America  had  invited  him  to  return, 
and  had  promised  him  support  there,  in  consequence  of  which 
he  had  embarked.  He  was  there  found  one  morning  dead  in 
his  bed. 

The  fate  of  this  man  adds  one  more  lesson  to  human  am- 
bition and  human  vanity.  Deane  was  a  man  of  talents  and 
ingenuity.  At  the  commencement  of  the  American  Revolu- 
tion they  raised  him  to  a  station  of  eminence,  to  an  agency  of 
conspicuous  importance.  He  was  not  temperate  in  his  eleva- 
tion ;  his  conduct  was  vain,  imprudent,  and  prodigal.  The 
consequence  was  a  recall  without  further  employment.  He 
endeavored  to  persuade  the  public,  perhaps  he  persuaded  him- 
self, that  he  had  been  the  victim  of  a  party  or  a  faction,  with- 
out any  fault  of  his  own.  The  public  was  not  convinced. 
He  was  soured  by  his  misfortune,  and  naturally  saw  the  cir- 
cumstances of  his  country  with  partial  eyes.  His  passions 
became  interested  in  the  ill  success  of  the  United  States,  and 
his  feelings  betrayed  themselves  in  his  conversations  and  in 
his  writings.  Hence  those  verbal  accounts  given  by  him  in 
France  towards  the  close  of  our  war ;  hence  those  letters 
which  he  wrote,  and  which  were  intercepted  and  published, 
not  without  some  suspicion  of  his  connivance;  hence,  in  short, 
as  I  believe,  all  that  conduct  at  that  particular  and  critical 
period,  which  had  so  many  effects  similar  to  what  treachery 
would  have  produced,  as  convinced  many  Americans  that  he 
was  a  traitor,  and  indeed  so  many  to  put  him  upon  a  footing 
with  Arnold. 

It  completed  the  ruin  of  his  reputation  in  America,  and 
made  him  so  obnoxious,  that  it  is  to  be  presumed  he  was 
afraid  to  return  home  again.  He  took  up  his  residence  in 
England,  therefore,  and  being  poor,  and  irritated  more  and 
more  against  his  country,  he  furnished  materials  to  Lord 
Sheffield    for   the    pamphlet  which    he    published,    the    great 


IQ8  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [March, 

object  of  which  was  to  prove  in  Great  Britain  that  although 
they  had  been  defeated  in  the  armed  contest,  the  means  of 
triumph  were  yet  in  their  hands,  and  to  succeed  required  only 
that  the  war  should  be  made  entirely  commercial,  and  as  such 
continued,  though  in  a  military  view  the  peace  was  concluded. 
That  Deane  furnished  the  principal  materials  for  this  pamphlet 
is  not  questioned  at  this  day,  though  he  meant  it  should  be 
secret.  For  after  the  fact  was  discovered,  he  published  an  ad- 
dress to  the  People  of  America,  in  order  to  defend  himself  and 
remove  some  of  the  detestation  of  him  and  his  conduct,  which 
at  this  time  had  become  universal  in  that  country.  In  this 
address  he  denies  that  he  wrote  the  pamphlet  published  under 
the  name  of  Lord  Sheffield,  and  appears  desirous  to  persuade 
that  nothing  in  it  can  be  attributed  to  him.  Lord  Sheffield 
was  believed,  and  the  British  Ministry  adopted,  with  regard  to 
America,  a  commercial  system  which  has  led  them  to  the 
verge  of  another  war,  but  which  they  still  think  has  been 
highly  prosperous  to  them.  Deane  was  certainly  its  author, 
and  one  would  have  thought  the  Ministry  would  have  rewarded 
him  in  some  form  or  other.  Instead  of  which,  he  was  barely 
supported  for  years,  in  extreme  misery,  by  Lord  Sheffield,  and, 
most  probably,  despair  resulting  from  the  alternative  of  starving 
in  Europe,  or  of  living  upon  the  charity  of  his  friends  in 
America,  an  object  of  the  public  hatred  and  contempt,  without 
having  the  miserable  satisfaction  of  having  his  wretchedness 
veiled  by  obscurity,  armed  his  hands  against  his  own  life,  and 
he  fell  a  victim  to  his  own  weakness,  discovering  by  his  life 
and  by  his  death  that  the  temperance  and  fortitude  which  re- 
spectively adorn  the  states  of  human  prosperity  and  adversity 
were  neither  of  them  allotted  to  him.1 

24th.  Alexander  Wilson,  of  Philadelphia,  and  Lewis  Seebohn, 
of  Pyrmont,  in  Germany,  both  of  the  religious  society  called 
Friends,  or  Quakers,  came  this  morning  to  request  my  inter- 
ference in  their  behalf,  to  obtain  permission  for  them  to  pass 
through  the  French  armies  on  their  way  to  Hamburg.     I  ac- 

«  From  the  publication  lately  made  of  the  letters  of  George  III.  to  Lord  North, 
it  appears  certain  that  Deane  was  more  or  less  in  the  pay  of  the  government  during 
the  war. 


I795-]  'IHE   MISSION   TO  HOLLAND.  IOo 

cordingly  sent  to  enquire  when  I  could  see  the  French  Repre- 
sentatives, but  found  they  were  all  gone  from  the  Hague.  I 
therefore  wrote  a  letter  in  behalf  of  these  Friends  to  General 
Moreau,  Commander  in  Chief  of  the  Army  of  the  North,  now 
at  Utrecht,  and  solicited  of  him  a  passport  for  them.  I  recom- 
mended to  them  to  take  this  road  in  preference,  as  it  was 
partly  on  the  way  to  Hamburg.  They  had  brought  a  letter 
from  Mr.  Bourne  to  me,  recommending  them  to  me.  They 
professed  to  be  grateful  for  the  disposition  to  serve  them  mani- 
fested by  the  Consul  and  by  the  Minister.  It  was  gratitude  for 
services  trivial  in  themselves,  and  constituting  part  of  our  duty. 
But  gratitude  is  a  virtue  of  particular  force  among  these  people, 
and  they  more  frequently  carry  it  to  things  too  minute  than 
fail  to  show  it  where  it  is  due.  Wilson  presented  me  several 
of  their  religious  books  and  pamphlets  ;  his  errand  to  Europe 
was  religious,  and  he  came  as  the  companion  of  James  Pem- 
berton,  who  died  at  Pyrmont  on  the  30th  of  January. 

29th.  Bielfeld  sent  me  this  morning  a  billet,  inviting  me  to 
go  with  him  and  take  a  parting  view  of  the  late  Stadtholder's 
library.  He  called  accordingly  at  eleven.  We  first  went  to 
Mr.  Euler's,  the  Librarian.  He  is  a  sort  of  virtuoso,  and  has 
a  number  of  minute  curiosities  in  his  house.  Several  other 
gentlemen  and  two  ladies  were  of  the  party.  Mr.  Euler,  as 
may  be  supposed,  is  grievously  afflicted  and  indignant  at  the 
fate  impending  upon  his  charge.  The  French  conquerors,  who 
respect  all  private  property,  consider  that  of  the  Governments 
with  which  they  are  at  war  as  the  lawful  fruits  of  their  victory, 
and  this  library  is  to  be  removed  in  a  few  days  to  Paris.  The 
new  Government  here  might  silently  acquiesce  in  this  measure, 
as  they  cannot  prevent  it.  They  might  forbear  to  bestow  their 
applause  upon  circumstances  really  humiliating  to  the  nation. 

The  library  consists  of  about  four  thousand  volumes.  It 
contains  most  of  the  voluminous  compilations  with  which 
modern  literature  and  science  have  been  at  once  burdened  and 
adorned.  There  are  few  very  magnificent  editions,  and  a  pro- 
portion remarkably  small  of  English  books.  We  saw  no  valu- 
able, and  only  one  curious  manuscript.  It  appeared  to  be  a 
monkish  collection  of  legends  with  a  great  number  of  mystical 


IIO  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [April, 

colored  figures.  A  representation  of  the  late  King  of  Prussia, 
in  wax-work,  was  the  only  curiosity  that  drew  our  attention, 
but  it  is  indifferently  executed. 

30th.  Received  a  letter  this  morning  from  Alexander  Wilson. 
He  informs  me  that  General   Moreau,  after  reading  my  letter, 
immediately  gave  him  and  his  companion  a  passport,  author- 
izing them    to  go   through   any  part  of  the   Northern  Army 
without    hindrance  or  molestation.     They   obtained   not   long 
since  a  similar  passport  as  to  the  British  Army  from  General 
Abercrombie.     These  facilities  granted  at  the  same  period,  by 
the  Chiefs  of  armies  contending  with  fiercest  hostility  against 
each  other,  to  men  whose  principles  and  practice  recommend 
universal  peace  and  reciprocal  good  will  to  all  mankind,  show 
the  liberal  spirit  of  the  age.     Why  can  they  not  be  considered 
by  both  parties  as  incentives  to  the  adoption  of  those  pacific 
dispositions  which  would  establish  a  real  fraternity  among  men  ? 
April  3d.  Wrote  to  the  Secretary  of  State,  etc.     A  day  of  in- 
sipidity, like  so  many  others.     Finished  the  reading  of  Torcy's 
Memoirs,  having  before  read  D'Estrades  and   D'Avaux.     Mr. 
d'Araujo  says  we  must  henceforth   not  look  back  to  anything 
that  has  ever  been  done  heretofore.     There  is  not,  indeed,  the 
same  advantage  in  possessing  the  principles  and  experience  of 
able  negotiations,  because  the  present  state  of  opinions  and  of 
practice  requires  a  different  theory.     Some  use,  however,  may 
be  made  of  this  reading.     At  least  it  increases  the  knowledge 
of  history,  and  gives  lessons  of  analogy  which  have  some  use 
for  application  to  every  position  of  affairs  among  men. 

4th.  Dined  at  the  Count  de  Lowenhielm's  with  a  company 
principally  diplomatic.  The  conversation  at  table  turned  upon 
the  characters  and  talents  of  women.  After  dinner,  Mr.  d'Araujo 
had  much  to  say  of  Rousseau.  D'Araujo  appears  to  be  the 
character  the  most  fairly  and  strongly  marked  among  the  Min- 
isters now  remaining  here.  He  appears  to  have  learning  and 
information,  and  he  is  not  unwilling  to  make  it  appear.  He 
does  it,  however,  without  affectation,  and  with  all  due  civility. 
Count  Lowenhielm  spoke  in  terms  of  great  respect  and  admira- 
tion of  the  President  of  the  United  States,  and  of  the  neutral 
system  of  policy  pursued  by  the  American  Government  in  the 


1795]  TIII':   MISSION   TO   HOLLAND.  HI 

present  war.  Upon  the  observation  that  the  Regent  of  Sweden 
had  pursued  the  same  wise  policy,  he  said  that  it  was  the  ex- 
ample of  America  which  had  encouraged  it,  and  the  Swedes 
were  obliged  to  the  President  of  the  United  States  for  being  the 
first  to  stand  forward  with  that  example,  which  encouraged  them 
to  imitation,  and  secured  to  them  such  great  advantages  and 
such  exemptions  from  the  common  distress  in  which  all  the 
nations  now  at  war  are  involved. 

14th.  Walk  to  Scheveling  with  Bielfeld.  I  find  him  still 
agreeable  and  entertaining.  Our  conversation  was  political, 
literary,  and  critical,  without  sliding,  as  it  often  does,  into  the 
bottomless  pit  of  metaphysics.  He  told  me  some  anecdotes 
about  the  second  King  of  Prussia,  the  father  of  the  late  Fred- 
erick. He  says  that  his  correspondence  with  the  Minister  he 
then  had  at  the  Hague  was  never  upon  subjects  of  state,  but 
consisted  simply  of  commissions  for  purchases.  At  one  time 
he  writes  for  six  pair  of  worsted  stockings ;  at  another  for  a 
cook-maid,  and  requires  particularly  that  she  should  know  how 
to  stew  prunes.  He  once  ordered  a  Minister  who  was  taking 
his  audience  of  departure,  going  upon  an  Embassy  to  Sweden,  to 
purchase  him  a  pair  of  leather  breeches.  Speaking  of  the  late 
King,  Bielfeld  has  not  so  high  an  opinion  of  his  character  as 
his  reputation  in  the  world  would  inspire.  Of  the  present 
sovereign  he  says  of  course  but  little.  His  opinion  is  discov- 
erable in  his  silence.  He  told  me,  however,  that  the  charac- 
ters and  representations  in  the  Secret  History  of  Mirabeau  are 
all  founded  in  truth,  and  accurate  to  admiration — at  least  as 
the  Court  was  at  that  time.  What  it  may  be  now  I  shall  not 
presume  to  say,  said  he.  He  says  that  the  people  of  Prussia 
are  extremely  quiet.  That  a  riot  or  insurrection  is  a  thing 
which  never  enters  the  imagination  of  any  of  them;  and  he 
foresees  that  the  Government  has  before  it  the  prospect  of 
a  long  and  uninterrupted  tranquillity.  For  there  are  but  three 
sources  from  which  insurrections  and  revolutions  generally 
proceed.  They  are, — disorder  of  the  public  finances,  religious 
persecution,  or  judicial  oppression.  Whereas  the  finances  in 
Prussia  are  in  an  excellent  situation,  or  at  least  they  have  been. 
The  present  war  may  have  produced  some  alteration  in  this 


II2  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [April, 

respect.  All  religions  are  tolerated,  and  the  administration  of 
justice  is  excellent.  So  that  we  have  no  reason  to  fear  turbu- 
lence and  rebellion.  This  theory  appears  very  plausible,  but 
it  is  always  in  vain  to  look  forward  into  the  history  of  nations. 
The  course  of  events  is  so  different  from  everything  foreseen, 
that  one  would  think  it  is  one  of  the  professional  employments 
of  the  Fates  to  baffle  all  human  penetration. 

16th.  Dined  at  Baron  Schubart's.  Company  not  thoroughly 
assorted.  There  was  a  young  French  officer,  of  the  name  of 
Souven,  who  amused  himself  and  fatigued  the  company  during 
the  whole  dinner-time.  The  officer  quartered  on  Mr.  Scholten, 
silent,  modest,  and  unassuming,  served  entirely  to  set  him  off. 
Almost  all  the  company  went  in  the  evening  to  the  French 
comedy.  The  performances  were  tolerable.  Seated  next  to 
General  Dumonceau  and  to  Mr.  Brito.  The  General  informed 
me  of  the  peace  concluded  between  France  and  Prussia.  Brito 
promised  me  the  perusal  of  some  English  papers  he  has  just 
received.  We  returned  to  Baron  Schubart's,  passed  the  evening 
and  supped.  M.  Levsen  beat  me  at  chess.  After  supper  the 
conversation  became  romantic  and  mystical,  owing  principally 
to  the  presence  of  the  ladies,  Madame  Scholten  and  Madame 
Nederburgh,  a  beautiful  young  woman,  whose  husband  is  in 
the  East  Indies.  It  ended  in  a  discussion  upon  the  common- 
place of  Love.  Scholten  and  Spaen  are  both  sensible  men, 
and  each  of  them  has  the  opinion  so  common  among  men, 
that  his  genius  is  universal  and  extraordinary.  Spaen  is  at  the 
same  time  amiable  in  his  manners,  modest  and  pleasing  in  his 
address.  Scholten  values  himself  much  upon  his  frankness 
and  sincerity ;  upon  his  disregard  of  ceremony,  and  contempt 
of  the  little  complaisance  usual  in  society.  He  sees  a  merit  in 
indulging  his  own  habits  and  his  own  feelings,  while  he  prides 
himself  in  having  no  respect  for  those  of  others.  He  is  jealous, 
suspicious,  timid,  vain,  and  above  all,  selfish.  This  last  quality, 
though  not  peculiar  to  him,  characterizes  him  best.  A  dramatic 
writer  might  copy  from  him  a  model  of  egoism  united  with  a 
good  understanding.  Spaen  and  he  are  both  authors,  and  even 
poets  ;  so  they  both  of  course  dogmatized  a  little  ;  not  without 
warmth,  as  they  differed  in  their  opinions.     Scholten's  senti- 


1795]  THE   MISSION   TO   HOLLAND.  U^ 

merits  were  such  as  might  be  expected  in  the  creed  of  an  old 
woman  of  the  last  century — the  mystical  union  of  souls,  the 
impossibility  of  a  second  love,  a  state  of  pre-existence,  a  tute- 
lary angel,  &c,  &c.  Baron  Schubart  also  confessed  his  belief 
in  most  of  these  articles.  This  gentleman,  without  pretending 
to  so  much  genius,  is  very  amiable  and  agreeable  in  society. 
Benevolence  of  heart  is,  he  says,  the  first  of  all  qualities  in  his 
opinion,  and  I  believe  his  practice  agrees  with  his  theory.  It 
was  very  late  when  the  company  broke  up. 

1 8th.  Unintelligible  billet  received  from  Mr.  Scholten,  on  re- 
turning from  my  usual  walk.  Refused.  Spent  the  evening,  how- 
ever, according  to  his  invitation,  at  his  house.  Company  nearly 
the  same  as  at  Baron  Schubart's.  Played  quadrille.  Madame 
Nederburgh  lovely,  poetical,  and  pleasant  as  before.  It  was 
decided  after  supper  that  every  person  who  began  to  speak 
upon  a  political  subject  should  pay  a  pawn.  The  offence  and 
the  punishment  went  round  the  table;  excepting  Mr.  Euler, 
who  escaped,  and  Mr.  Scholten,  who  made  a  principle  of  re- 
fusing to  pay.  He  never  plays  at  pawns.  In  the  course  of  the 
conversation  he  affirmed  something.  His  wife  asked  him  to 
say  so  upon  honor.  No ;  he  never  pledges  his  honor  upon 
common  occasions.  In  both  instances  there  was  some  reason, 
but  more  of  character.  The  amusement  of  playing  pawns  is 
puerile,  insipid,  and  cheerless.  Nor  is  it  necessary  to  pledge 
one's  honor  to  trivial  circumstances.  But  neither  is  it  neces- 
sary, or  calculated  to  produce  individual  or  social  enjoyment, 
in  the  ordinary  intercourse  of  convivial  society,  upon  the  most 
trivial  occasions,  and  in  cases  where  virtue  and  vice  are  equally 
out  of  the  question,  to  meet  every  effort  to  promote  mirth,  or 
at  least  pastime,  with  the  quills  of  a  principle.  The  redemp- 
tion of  the  pawns  terminated,  as  usual,  in  saluting  the  ladies, 
a  ceremony  from  which  the  persons  exempted  would  have  de- 
rived as  little  satisfaction,  though  not  quite  so  much  pain,  as 
was  discovered  by  Mr.  Scholten.  The  next  subject  of  amuse- 
ment was  a  number  of  charades  and  bouts-rimes  produced  by 
Madame  Nederburgh.  It  was  finally  agreed  that  four  bouts- 
rimes  should  be  taken,  to  be  filled  by  each  of  the  gentlemen 
present,  and  produced  on  Monday  at  Madame  Nederburgh's, 

VOL.   I. — 8 


H A  MEMOIRS   OF   JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [May, 

when  the  ladies  should  pronounce  upon  the  merit  of  the  tjest. 
These  diversions  entertained  us  till  two  in  the  morning.  This 
is  not  one  of  the  occasions  when  "the  Heart  distrusting  asks 
if  this  be  joy."     There  could  be  no  room  for  such  a  question. 

20th.  Walk  to  Scheveling.  Was  caught  in  the  rain.  Even- 
ing and  supper  at  Madame  Nederburgh's.  The  verses  on  the 
bouts-rimes  were  produced;  and  Bielfeld,  not  having  written, 
copied  them  all,  to  have  them  in  the  same  handwriting.  After 
supper,  Madame  Nederburgh  gave  the  palm  to  a  quatrain,  of 
which  Mr.  Scholten  appeared  to  be  the  author,  and  Madame 
Scholten  to  one  of  Mr.  Spaen.  Four  new  words  were  then 
given  to  be  produced  at  the  next  meeting,  and  some  time  after 
two  we  were  again  dismissed. 

27th.  We  could  not  accept  the  invitation  to  take  the  ride 
with  our  poetical  company ;  but  we  passed  the  evening  at 
Baron  Schubart's,  and  the  bouts-rimes  were  again  produced 
after  supper.  The  preference,  as  before,  fell  upon  Messrs.  Spaen 
and  Scholten,  only  the  ladies  changed  the  object  of  their  re- 
spective votes.  The  best  of  the  whole  collection  that  I  saw 
were  of  Mr.  Spaen,  but  which  he  did  not  insert,  and  did  not 
concur  for  the  palm.  The  best  of  those  that  concurred  were 
of  Bielfeld,  but  they  did  not  obtain  the  merited  preference.  I 
speak  with  confidence,  because  I  declined  entering  the  lists  this 
time. 

Enquired  of  Mr.  Scholten  what  books  had  been  written  and 
published,  containing  the  best  accounts  of  the  Canals  and 
Dykes  of  this  country.  He  said  there  were  a  great  number, 
in  Dutch,  French,  and  Latin;  but  that  an  academical  disserta- 
tion of  the  Pensionary  Van  Bleiswick,  de  Aggeribus,  was  one 
of  the  best. 

JIArv  1st.  Went  to  Amsterdam  by  the  morning  post-waggon; 
arrived  there  between  one  and  two  o'clock.  After  dinner,  Mr. 
William  Willink  and  Mr.  Hubbard  called  on  me,  and  informed 
me  they  had  agreed  Mr.  Hubbard  should  go  to  England,  there 
to  make  arrangements  relative  to  the  funds  of  the  United  States 
received  by  Mr.  Pinckney,  and  destined  for  the  payment  of 
monies  which  will  become  due  herein  June.  This  plan  appears 
to  me  very  difficult  of  execution,  and   objectionable  in  many 


1795]  77//';   MISSION   TO  HOLLAND,  u~ 

respects.  I  mentioned  most  of  the  objections,  and  found  them 
decided.  Mr.  William  Willink  intimated  to  me  that  they  con- 
sidered all  the  responsibility  of  the  business  to  rest  upon  them. 
From  this  determination  I  endeavored  to  avert  them  by  urging 
an  attempt  to  the  renewal  of  the  instalment.  Mr.  Willink 
finally  declared  explicitly  that  they  would  not  undertake  that 
without  an  express  order  from  me,  in  writing,  to  make  a  sacrifice 
of  ten  per  cent,  as  a  premium  for  renewal.  I  answered  that 
I  should  certainly  give  no  such  order,  and  indeed  that  I 
could  give  them  no  orders  on  the  subject.  Mr.  Willink  was 
going  immediately  into  the  country,  and  desired  us  to  dine 
with  him  there  to-morrow,  in  order  to  make  the  necessary 
arrangements.  Mr.  Bourne  called  on  us,  as  did  Mr.  G.  W. 
Erving,  who  came  very  lately  from  London,  and  whom  I  was 
somewhat  surprised  to  find  in  this  country. 

2d.  Went  to  Haerlem  with  Mr.  Hubbard.  Dined  at  Mr.  Wil- 
liam YVillink's  country  seat,  and  drank  tea  at  his  brother  John's. 
The  name  of  the  former  is  Bosch  en  Hoven  ;  that  of  the  latter, 
Bosch  en  Vaart.  They  are  handsome,  though  not  magnificent 
houses,  with  gardens  according  to  the  common  custom  of  the 
country.  That  of  Mr.  William  Willink  cost  him,  with  the 
repairs  he  found  necessary,  nearly  an  hundred  thousand  guil- 
ders. Its  annual  expense  to  him  must  be  of  two  or  three  thou- 
sand. It  gives  him  no  income  whatever.  "  If  there  is  a  luxury," 
said  he  this  day,  "  it  is  a  country  seat."  Such  is  the  common 
opinion  here,  and  people  who  unite  the  greatest  wealth  with 
an  economy  that  in  any  other  country  would  be  called  par- 
simonious, indulge  in  this  luxury  to  an  excess  unknown  else- 
where. They  generally  spend  the  Saturday  and  Sunday 
throughout  the  year  at  country  seats  ;  the  remainder  of  the 
week  in  the  city,  drudging  for  the  accumulation  of  enormous 
wealth.  The  gardens  have  nothing  remarkably  agreeable ; 
every  thing  is  cut  up  and  fashioned  by  the  rule  and  square. 
The  hot-houses  appear  to  be  the  most  useful  part.  We  saw 
strawberries  in  their  state  of  full  maturity;  apricots  half  ripe, 
and  peaches  of  the  size  of  a  walnut.  The  wall-fruit  trees  are 
covered  every  night  during  the  season  with  double  mats  of 
reeds  and  flags.     We  returned  to  Amsterdam  in  the  evening, 


n6  MEMOIRS    OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [May, 

having  as  an  addition  to  our   company  a  French   gentleman 
whom  we  foun  I  at  Mr.  John  Willink's. 

6th.  Mr.  Hubbard  called  on  me  this  morning  very  early, 
intending  to  set  out  on  his  voyage  to  England.  Delivered  to 
him  all  the  papers  I  had  prepared  for  him,  and  he  set  out. 
Walk  in  the  wood  at  noon.  When  I  came  home  I  found  a 
billet  from  Mr.  N.  Van  Staphorst  enclosing  one  from  Hubbard 
to  him,  informing  him  that  he  was  arrested,  and  Mr.  Van  Stap- 
horst requesting  me  to  go  with  him  to  the  Commander  of  the 
place  and  obtain  his  release.  I  could  not  go  to  obtain  his  re- 
lease from  a  French  military  officer;  but  being  desirous  to  take 
every  proper  measure  in  the  case,  and  at  least  to  know  the 
cause  of  his  detention,  I  went  immediately  to  the  lodgment  of 
Amsterdam.  Found  Mr.  Van  Staphorst  at  dinner,  and  soon 
after  went  with  him  to  General  Delmas,  the  present  Com- 
mander, recently  substituted  for  Dumonceau.  Upon  enquiring 
what  was  the  cause  of  Mr.  Hubbard's  arrest,  the  General  said 
it  was  because  he  was  going  to  England;  a  thing  prohibited 
and  therefore  suspicious — because  he  had  a  passport  from  the 
States  General  dated  but  two  days  ago,  and  inspected  by  the 
Representative  Ramel,  who  had  been  a  fortnight  in  Paris.  Mr. 
Van  Staphorst  told  him  that  it  was  because  their  High  Mighti- 
nesses had  received  several  signatures  of  Ramel's  upon  blank 
passports  for  mutual  accommodation.  Delmas  said  that  he 
knew  nothing  about  that;  but  the  circumstance  had  been  so 
suspicious,  and  heightened  by  an  attempt  to  go  without  having 
presented  the  passport  for  his  visa,  as  was  necessary,  that  he 
had  thought  his  duty  obliged  him  to  order  the  arrest,  and  to 
send  the  papers  that  had  been  found  on  Mr.  Hubbard  to  the 
General  in  Chief  of  the  Northern  Army.  That  he  could  not 
now  undo  what  was  done,  and  the  arrest  must  continue  until 
he  should  receive  his  answer.  From  thence  Mr.  Van  Stap- 
horst went  to  the  Commandant  of  the  Police,  Soder,  in  whose 
custody  Hubbard  was.  I  told  him  that,  in  a  case  where  there 
was  a  misunderstanding  of  arrangements  agreed  on  between 
the  French  Representatives  and  this  Government,  my  inter- 
ference would  obviously  be  improper,  and  that  I  must  therefore 
retire.     Came  home  accordingly.     In  the  evening,  feeling,  how- 


1795]  TIIE   MISSION  TO   HOLLAND.  \  \  - 

ever,  very  anxious  that  Hubbard  should  suffer  this  treatment 
when  employed  upon  business  of  the  United  States,  I  wrote  a 
line  to  Mr.  Van  Staphorst  again,  requesting  to  know  when  I 
could  sec  him.  He  desired  me,  in  answer,  to  come  immediately 
to  the  Hall  where  the  States  General  were  assembled,  and  which 
he  could  not  quit.  He  there  told  me  that  Mr.  Hubbard  was  at 
the  Heeren  Logement,  and  that  a  second  express  had  been 
sent  to  Utrecht  upon  the  business.  Called  at  the  Heeren 
Logement  to  see  Hubbard,  and  found  him  with  a  French 
soldier  in  his  chamber.  Visit  from  Mr.  Scholten.  Billet  rela- 
tive to  quartering  soldiers  in  Mr.  Greenleafs  house. 

8th.  Mr.  Van  Staphorst  again  sent  me  word  that  the  Repre- 
sentative Alquier  had  arrived  here  with  all  Hubbard's  papers, 
and  requesting  me  again  to  go  with  him,  at  four  o'clock,  to 
Alquier  upon  the  subject.  I  called  on  him  at  four  o'clock,  and 
told  him  that  as  the  reason  given  by  the  commanding  officer  for 
his  conduct  towards  Hubbard  originated  simply  in  a  mistake  in 
arrangements  made  between  the  French  Representatives  and 
the  States  General,  from  respect  for  both  parties  I  should  not 
interfere  in  the  matter,  and  could  not  therefore  go  with  him. 
On  returning  home  I  wrote  a  card  to  the  Representative  Al- 
quier to  know  when  I  could  see  him.  It  was  received  from 
my  servant  by  one  of  the  Secretaries,  who  said  he  could  not 
deliver  it  immediately,  Alquier  being  very  much  engaged  ;  but 
would  as  soon  as  possible,  and  promised  an  answer  for  to- 
morrow. A  few  minutes  after,  Mr.  Hubbard  called  to  take  my 
commands  for  Amsterdam.  He  had  just  been  delivered,  and 
had  his  pocket-book  containing  his  papers  returned  to  him,  the 
seals  untouched.  He  has  determined  from  the  first  moment  to 
return  home,  and  not  proceed  upon  his  voyage  to  England. 

9th.  Last  evening,  it  seems,  Sieves  and  Rewbell,  two  members 
of  the  Committee  of  Public  Safety  of  France,  arrived  here  from 
Paris.  The  Representatives  Alquier,  Cochon,  Richard,  and 
Ramel,  who  had  before  been  here  in  mission,  likewise  arrived. 
The  General  in  Chief  of  the  Northern  Army  came  at  the  same 
time.  Brito  says  the  members  from  the  Committee  of  Public 
Safety  have  come  to  do  the  counterpart  of  the  alliance  made 
here  by  Sir  William   Temple.     He  was  answered  that   they 


H8  MEMOIRS    OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [July, 

would  not  easily  find  a  De  Witt  to  treat  with.  The  States 
General  have,  however,  appointed  a  deputation  of  four  members 
to  confer  with  them. 

nth.  Card  this  afternoon  to  the  French  Representatives  just 
arrived,  to  know  when  I  could  see  them — a  formality  which  I 
do  not  willingly  perform,  but  which  is  made  necessary  to  me. 

1 3th.  At  ten  went  according  to  appointment  to  see  the  Repre- 
sentatives Sieyes  and  Rewbell.  Met  Baron  Bielfeld  going  at 
the  same  time.  Conversation  with  Sieyes  of  about  a  quarter 
of  an  hour.  He  made  a  number  of  questions  relative  to  the 
Treaty  signed  by  Mr.  Jay  with  the  British  Minister  last  No- 
vember. The  answers  he  received  were  in  a  style  similar  to 
that  of  the  questions,  and  terminated  with  the  information  that 
the  only  public  article  is  one  which  provides  that  the  Treaty 
shall  not  interfere  with  any  previous  engagement  of  either 
party. 

June  nth.  Dined  at  Count  Lowenhielm's.  Usual  diplomatic 
company.  The  Generals  Moreau  and  Dumonceau  with  their 
aids.  Moreau  is  among  those  who  have  no  mean  opinion  of 
themselves — simple  in  dress  and  manners — clever  like  almost 
all  his  countrymen,  with  the  dash  of  vanity  which  seems  to  be 
among  them  as  much  a  principle  as  it  is  a  passion.  Dumon- 
ceau is  a  Brabanter,  and  has  some  modesty. 

July  7th.  Dined  at  the  Count's.  The  French  Representative 
Richard,  the  Generals  Moreau,  Golowkin,  Dumonceau,  and 
Macdonald,  with  the  other  usual  company.  The  Vicomte  de 
Roer  and  a  Citoyen  Brule,  the  former,  an  aid-de-camp  of  La 
Fayette,  left  France  with  him,  and  was  more  fortunate  in 
making  his  escape  than  his  General.  Brule  is  one  of  the  Sec- 
retaries of  the  Representatives.  I  had  considerable  conversa- 
tion with  him  ;  being  seated  next  him  at  table.  We  talked 
especially  of  the  French  Ministers  in  America,  Genest  and  Fau- 
chet.  He  said  that  he  was  some  time  since  walking  in  the 
Tuileries,  and  met  a  person  who  went  to  America  with  Fau- 
chet  as  his  Secretary;  that  on  his  expressing  his  surprise  on 
finding  him  there,  whom  he  supposed  to  be  in  America,  the 
other  said  to  him,  "  I  am  come  home  to  tell  you  that  the  best 
thing  you  can  do  is  to  call  home  Fauchet  and  all  the  rest  of  us, 


1795]  THE   MISSION   TO   HOLLAND. 


II9 


and  employ  Gcnest  again  ;  for  he  was  really  worth  more  than 
all  of  us  put  together."  He  spoke  himself  well  of  Genest,  as 
they  all  do  at  present.  He  did  the  same  with  respect  to  Fau- 
chet,  who,  Richard  said,  was  introduced  to  public  affairs  too 
young,  and  had  made  some  very  bad  bargains  for  grain. 

1 2th.  Visit  this  morning  from  Mr.  Houghton,  of  Boston,  who 
has  some  property  seized  ;  having  introduced  it  here  in  con- 
traband, unknown,  as  he  says,  to  himself.  Claimed  my  assist- 
ance. 

August  28th.  Letter  this  evening  from  Mr.  Van  Son.  Informs 
me  that  Houghton's  second  petition  to  the  States  General  is 
rejected.  The  Empson  and  Dudley  practice  of  reviving  obso- 
lete penalties,  and  making  the  penal  laws  a  snare  to  the 
unwary,  seems  to  be  adopted  and  pursued  by  the  present  Gov- 
ernment here.  It  has  been  done  at  least  in  this  instance.  An 
old  law,  which  had  long  been  without  execution,  prohibits  the 
importation  of  foreign  broadcloths  into  this  country.  The 
penalty  is  confiscation,  and  the  profit  principally  for  the  Fiscal 
of  the  Admiralty,  the  official  informer.  Since  the  Revolution 
a  man  by  the  name  of  Deutz  has  been  put  into  the  office  of 
Fiscal.  Greedy,  indigent,  and  rapacious,  his  first  object  is  to 
hunt  for  the  benefits  of  confiscations.  He  laid  his  hand,  therefore, 
upon  Houghton's  property,  which  he  had  brought  here  upon 
the  faith  of  a  long-established  practice,  which,  though  con- 
trary to  law,  had  been  connived  at,  or  passed  without  notice,  by 
the  Government.  Upon  this  ground  Houghton  presented  his 
two  petitions.  Upon  the  occasion  of  the  first,  I  applied  to  Mr. 
Paulus,  President  of  the  Marine  Committee,  to  whom  the  peti- 
tion had  been  referred.  He  assured  me  that  permission  would 
be  given  to  carry  away  the  articles.  But  I  found  soon  after 
that  the  Marine  Committee  had  sent  the  petition  to  Deutz,  the 
Fiscal,  for  his  advice.  When  the  party  the  most  deeply  inter- 
ested is  formally  made  the  judge  of  his  own  cause,  its  issue  can 
easily  be  foreseen.  Deutz  was  applied  to  by  Mr.  Bourne  in 
favor  of  Houghton ;  he  promised  he  would  favor  him  as 
much  as  possible,  and  even  to  make  a  report  favorable  to  him. 
Made  his  report  full  and  decided  against  him,  and  then  denied 
his  own  promise  to  Bourne.     The  same  course  was  pursued  in 


120 


MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [1795. 


the  second  petition.  The  members  of  the  Marine  Committee 
promised  wonders,  but  sent  the  petition  to  Deutz  for  advice. 
Deutz,  pretending  that  he  had  reluctantly  followed  a  rigorous 
duty  in  his  former  report,  and  that  he  would  show  his  disinter- 
ested benevolence  in  the  second,  reported  as  before.  The 
Committee  has  done  the  same,  and  the  second  petition  meets 
with  the  fate  of  the  first. 


CHAPTER    IV. 

A    MISSION    TO    GREAT    BRITAIN. APPOINTMENT    TO    PORTUGAL. 

The  treaty  negotiated  by  Mr.  Jay  in  1794,  after  a  severe 
struggle,  was  ultimately  accepted  by  the  requisite  authorities 
in  the  United  States.  The  next  step  was  to  exchange  the 
ratifications.  It  happened  that  just  at  the  moment  when  this 
process  became  necessary,  Mr.  Thomas  Pinckney,  the  accredited 
Envoy  of  America  at  the  Court  of  Great  Britain,  was  in  Spain, 
charged  with  the  duty  of  negotiating  a  treaty  with  that  power, 
a  labor  which  occupied  him  some  time,  and  which  he  executed 
with  success.  The  United  States  Government,  under  these 
circumstances,  decided  to  call  upon  Mr.  Adams  to  cross  the 
Channel,  for  the  purpose  of  completing  this  operation.  The 
instructions  given  to  him  in  addition  were,  to  confer  further 
with  Her  Majesty's  Minister  touching  certain  matters  of  inter- 
est, immediately  connected  with  the  Treaty,  "  essential  to  the 
establishment  of  the  good  understanding  between  the  two  coun- 
tries" hoped  for  from  that  instrument.  Mr.  Adams  proceeded 
to  execute  this  duty  at  once.  The  government  had  assigned 
the  twenty-fifth  of  October  as  the  limit  within  which  he  was  to 
reach  London;  and  in  the  event  of  his  failure  to  get  there  by 
that  time,  the  duty  was  to  devolve  upon  the  Secretary  of  Le- 
gation at  London,  Mr.W.  A.  Deas.  The  causes  of  Mr.  Adams's 
detention  on  the  way  are  fully  explained  in  his  diary.  He  had 
eleven  days  to  spare.     The  trip  consumed  twenty-eight. 

In  these  days  of  improved  communications,  it  seems  sur- 
prising that  there  could  have  been  such  petty  annoyances  in 
travelling.  Yet  the  effect  of  them  was  that  on  his  arrival  in 
London  the  ratifications  had  been  already  exchanged  by  Mr. 
Deas,  and  so  far  as   related  to  that  proceeding  his  labors  and 

vexations  had  been  all  for  nought. 

121 


I22  MEMOIRS    OF   JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [October, 

It  happened,  however,  that  other  questions  had  arisen  pend- 
ing the  process  of  ratification,  which  it  had  been  deemed  ex- 
pedient to  have  settled  at  the  same  moment,  and  to  this  end 
directions  had  been  given  to  Mr.  Adams  further  to  negotiate 
.with  the  British  authorities.  The  idea  of  the  peculiar  situation 
in  which  this  authority  would  place  him  seems  not  to  have 
occurred  to  the  American  Administration.  The  Foreign  Sec- 
retary, Lord  Grenville,  very  naturally  looked  to  him  as  pro- 
vided with  the  usual  diplomatic  powers.  But  these  it  seems 
clear  that  he  could  not  assume  without  a  special  nomination 
by  the  President  to,  and  a  confirmation  by,  the  Senate  in  legal 
form.  The  British  Secretary  on  his  side  was  the  more  im- 
pelled to  recognize  him  for  the  reason  that  the  tone  and  bear- 
ing of  Mr.  Deas,  then  acting  in  the  absence  of  Mr.  Pinckney, 
had  been  regarded  so  offensive  as  to  preclude  any  expecta- 
tion of  agreeing  upon  anything  with  him.  Thus  followed  a 
singular  perplexity,  approaching  the  limits  of  comedy,  the  one 
side  earnestly  pressing  the  performance  of  all  the  customary 
forms  of  accrediting  a  diplomatic  envoy  at  Court,  in  order  to 
negotiate  with  him,  and  the  other  as  resolutely  laboring  to  es- 
cape the  assumption  of  a  regular  commission,  which  he  could 
not  claim  without  absolutely  losing  the  opportunity  to  forward 
the  important  objects  which  his  government  had  thought  fit  to 
confide  to  his  care.  It  is  this  singular  struggle  which  consti- 
tutes one  of  the  interesting  points  attending  the  mission. 

On  the  13th  of  October,  1795,  Mr.  Adams  makes  the  fol- 
lowing entry  in  his  diary,  the  course  of  which  is  now  resumed: 

The  Hague,  October  13th. — Dined  at  Baron  Schubart's.  Ar- 
rived late.  The  French  Representative  Richard,  the  Minister 
Noel,  and  the  usual  other  company  there.  The  Frenchmen  did 
not  appear  much  affected  by  the  late  tragical  events  at  Paris.1 
They  appeared  to  receive  more  pleasure  from  the  victory  than 
affliction  from  the  struggle.  Richard  said  that  Paris  was  a  child 
that  had  beaten  its  mother  and  had  been  whipped  for  it  till  it 
fetched  blood.     Noel  said  that  the  issue  was  fortunate,  though 

1  This  was  the  great  struggle  of  the  sections  of  Paris  with  the  Convention, 
ending  in  their  defeat. 


1 795-]  A   MISSION   TO    GREAT  BRITAIN.  12^ 

it  was  to  be  regretted,  considering  that  French  blood  only  had 
been  shed  in  the  contest. 

14th.  Received  this  morning  from  the  Secretary  of  State 
a  letter,  dated  August  14th,  containing  orders  to  repair  with- 
out delay  to  London,  where  I  shall  find  directions  and  docu- 
ments for  my  government.  Sent  to  Rotterdam  to  enquire 
when  the  vessel  going  from  thence  to  England  will  be  ready  to 
sail.  This  business  is  unpleasant  and  unpromising,  but  I  have 
no  election. 

19th.  Preparing  to  go  for  England.  Went  to  present  my 
brother  as  Charge  des  Affaires  of  the  United  States,  during  my 
absence,  to  the  President  of  the  States  General,  Mr.  Kempe- 
naer,  to  the  Greffier,  Mr.  Quarles,  and  to  the  President  of  the 
Provincial  Assembly,  Mr.  Paulus.  Told  them  I  had  received 
orders  from  the  Government  of  the  United  States  to  go  to 
England  to  transact  some  particular  business  ;  that  I  expected 
my  absence  would  be  short,  and  that  the  relative  situation  of 
that  country  and  this  rendered  it  proper  for  me  to  assure  them 
that  my  business  there  is  of  a  nature  which  cannot  in  the  re- 
motest degree  affect  the  friendship  and  harmony  so  happily 
subsisting  between  this  Republic  and  that  of  the  United  States. 
Mr.  Kempenaer  appeared  perfectly  satisfied.  Mr.  Paulus  said 
that  they  could  have  no  possible  suspicion  of  the  friendly  dis- 
position of  the  United  States,  who  might  have  business  to 
transact  in  England,  inducing  the  Government  to  order  me 
there.  Mr.  Quarles  requested  me  to  send  a  note  in  writing  to 
him,  which  he  would  present  to  their  High  Mightinesses,  as 
the  Charge  des  Affaires  must  be  recognized  by  the  Registers 
of  the  States  General  to  authorize  him  to  act,  if  there  should 
be  occasion.  That  the  request  for  a  passport  which  I  made 
might  also  be  mentioned  in  the  note,  whereupon  it  would  be 
immediately  expedited,  and  their  High  Mightinesses  would 
then  direct  their  agent,  Slicher,  to  come  and  wish  me  a  good 
voyage.  That  he  should  advise  me  likewise  to  mention  the 
assurance  I  had  given  him  that  the  object  of  my  journey  is 
such  as  cannot  affect  the  interests  of  this  Republic  unfavor- 
ably. He  added  that  it  was  particularly  necessary  at  the  pres- 
ent time  to  adhere  to  forms,  and  that  the  States  General  never 


I24  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [October, 

deliberated  but  upon  what  is  in  writing.  I  replied  that  I  did 
not  wish  their  High  Mightinesses  to  deliberate  upon  this  cir- 
cumstance. I  was  desirous  merely  to  give  them  information 
of  the  orders  I  had  received  from  the  American  Government, 
and  of  my  consequent  intention  to  obey  them.  That  upon  any 
ordinary  occasion  it  would  have  been  unnecessary  for  me  to 
add  the  information  of  the  place  of  my  destination,  but  under 
the  present  circumstances  I  thought  it  would  be  proper  to 
give  it,  in  order  to  prevent  any  erroneous  suspicions,  which  I 
hoped,  however,  would  not  have  arisen.  That  I  had  under- 
stood the  presentation  of  a  Charge  des  Affaires  was  usually 
merely  verbal,  and  had  not,  therefore*  given  notice  of  it  by  a 
note.  But  that  I  was  sincerely  disposed  to  comply  with  all  the 
customary  forms,  and  to  accommodate  myself  entirely  to  his 
wishes  on  this  occasion.  I  would,  therefore,  immediately  write 
the  note  and  send  it  to  him,  as  I  accordingly  did.  He  men- 
tioned the  instance  of  the  Count  Lowenhielm,  the  Swedish 
Minister,  who  recently  went  away  on  a  temporary  leave  of  ab- 
sence, and  had  presented  Mr.  Reuterswerd  by  a  written  note. 

Met  Mr.  Middleton  walking  in  the  wood.  Conversing  with 
him  on  the  subject  of  Mr.  Quarles's  observations,  he  told  me 
that  a  simple  verbal  presentation  of  a  Charge  des  Affaires  had 
always  been  customary  here,  but  that  Count  Lowenhielm  had 
written  a  note  to  present  Mr.  Reuterswerd,  in  consequence  of 
the  same  formal  scruple  of  Mr.  Quarks  that  he  had  made  to 
me. 

20th.  Mr.  Slicher,  the  agent  of  the  States  General,  called  on 
me  this  morning,  by  order  of  their  High  Mightinesses,  to  wish 
me  a  good  voyage;  so  that  Mr.  Quarles's  solicitude  will  be 
removed.  Slicher  said  that  my  departure  for  England  just  at 
this  time  was  a  subject  of  observation,  but  that  the  friendly 
assurances  contained  in  my  note  had  given  entire  satisfaction 
on  that  point.  Repeated  those  assurances  to  him,  adding  that 
I  had  thereby  followed  the  express  directions  of  the  American 
Government,  although,  at  the  time  when  my  orders  were  trans- 
mitted, the  state  of  affairs  between  England  and  this  Republic 
was  less  hostile  than  it  has  become.  He  said  that  I  should 
probably  see  many  of  his  countrymen  in  England,  as  numbers 


1795-3  A   M^SION  TO    GREAT  BRITAIN.  I25 

of  the  viatadorcs  of  the  former  regencies  were  there.  I  an- 
swered him  that  I  should  probably  see  very  few  persons  of  that 
description. 

Visited  the  French  Minister  Plenipotentiary  Noel,1  at  the 
palace  of  the  old  court.  Found  him  very  polite  and  rational. 
Told  him  where  I  was  going.  He  said  I  should  be  in  England 
at  an  interesting  period,  as  the  Parliament  are  soon  to  assemble, 
and,  from  the  present  aspect  of  affairs,  probably  some  negotia- 
tions would  be  at  least  commenced  during  the  approaching 
winter.  Told  him  I  hoped  they  would  terminate  in  an  early 
Peace ;  that  I  understood  the  French  Nation  wished  for 
Peace,  that  the  British  Nation  must  desire  it,  and  that  my 
country,  although  its  neutrality  had  procured  for  it  several 
advantages  from  the  war,  was  also  interested  in  the  return  of 
Peace,  and  sincerely  wished  for  it;  that  our  situation,  from 
various  circumstances,  had  been  repeatedly  very  embarrassing 
and  constantly  dangerous  during  the  contest,  and  that  for 
our  own  sakes,  as  well  as  for  that  of  our  friends,  we  ardently 
wished  for  the  restoration  of  tranquillity. 

He  said  he  readily  conceived  that  between  the  opposite  in- 
terests and  claims  of  France  and  Britain  we  must  have  been 
frequently  perplexed,  and  in  danger  of  being  drawn  into  the 
war;  which  might  perhaps  have  been  the  intention  of  the 
British  Government,  but  which  he  was  happy  that  we  had 
avoided,  for  he  was  persuaded  that  our  neutrality  had  been 
much  more  advantageous  to  France  than  would  have  been  our 
participation  with  her  in  the  war.  "As  it  is,"  said  he,  "the 
English  have  intercepted  part  of  the  provisions  sent  from 
America  for  us ;  but  far  the  greater  part  has  arrived,  and  has 
been  of  the  greatest  service  to  us,  as  that  is  the  principal  article 
we  have  needed ;  but  had  you  been  at  war  with  Britain,  that 
resource  must  have  failed  us  altogether." 

I  replied  that  the  neutral  state  had  the  more  readily  been 
embraced  by  us,  and  the  more  strenuously  supported,  as  we 
had  received  the  assurance  of  the  French  Government  that  it 

1  Francois  Joseph  Michel  Noel,  originally  a  litterateur,  who,  like  many  others  of 
his  class,  rose  out  of  the  vortex  of  the  Revolution  and  filled  a  place  in  public  life 
with  credit  and  distinction.     He  survived  until  1831. 


I26  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [October, 

was  conformable  to  their  wishes,  and  as  we  had  found  it  oper- 
ating so  favorably  to  their  interests  ;  that  the  treatment  of  the 
British  had  been  such  as  could  not  fail  to  excite  our  resent- 
ment, and  that  our  friendship  for  France  was  unabated.  But 
that  the  course  of  a  fair  and  rigorous  neutrality  of  conduct 
had  been  pursued,  as  the  most  proper  effectually  to  reconcile 
our  own  interests  and  those  of  our  friends;  and  we  believed 
that,  at  the  close  of  the  war,  Great  Britain  would  find  she 
had  met  with  an  enemy  able  to  cope  with  all  the  force  she  had 
at  command,  and  that  an  additional  foe  was  quite  unnecessary 
for  her. 

He  said  that  America  was  becoming  everyday  more  interest- 
ing as  an  object  of  observation  ;  that  he  had  a  great  desire  of 
seeing  that  country,  and  should  have  been  very  glad  to  have 
gone  there.  I  replied  that  from  the  manner  in  which  some  of 
the  Representatives  of  the  People  had  spoken  to  me  of  the 
Citizen  Adet,  who  is  lately  gone  out,  I  had  formed  a  very 
advantageous  opinion  of  him  ;  but  that  I  should  have  been 
much  gratified  had  he  himself  been  employed  on  that  mission. 
(The  compliment  was  too  bare-bosomed,  but  was  sincere.  I 
shall  never  know  how  to  make  a  proper  compliment.)  He 
said  that  the  Egyptian  traveller,  Volney,  was  now  in  America, 
and  he  was  in  hopes  that  his  tour  through  that  country  would 
produce  general  and  useful  information  concerning  it ;  that 
he  was  a  man  of  talents  and  of  judgment,  a  friend  of  Liberty, 
but  far  from  having  given  in  to  the  excesses  that  had  so  un- 
happily prevailed. 

2 1 st.  At  half-past  eight  took  the  boat  for  Delft,  and  before 
one  arrived  at  Rotterdam. 

Helvoet  Sluys,  26th. — The  weather  has  been  this  day  very 
moderate,  but  the  wind  does  not  vary.  Regret  very  much  at 
present  that  I  took  so  few  books  with  me.  The  only  interest- 
ing one  I  have  has  now  been  read  through,  and  leaves  me  to 
the  complete  empire  of  tediousness.  The  delay  of  contrary 
winds  or  calms  on  a  voyage  is  one  trial  of  temper.  I  have 
often  endured  it,  and  generally  found  it  more  powerful  than 
my  patience  or  my  philosophy.  There  are  no  books  that  can 
engage  my  attention  and  abridge  the  length  of  time  on  such 


1 795-]  A   MISSION  TO    GREAT  BRITAIN.  l2y 

occasions,  except  well-written  novels.  Let  me  remember  in 
future  to  be  provided  with  a  better  stock.  Walked  this  fore- 
noon with  Mr.  Allis ;  wrote  a  little.  Endeavored  to  read 
some  poetry ;  unable  to  give  my  attention  to  it.  Anxiously 
looking,  twenty  times  an  hour,  to  all  the  vanes  and  weather- 
cocks within  sight:  always  find  them  inflexibly  fixed  in  the 
same  position.  Set  out  on  this  voyage  determined  not  to  fret 
at  the  opposition  of  the  elements.  Have  hitherto  kept  my 
resolution  with  tolerable  success,  but  am  strongly  apprehensive 
that  I  shall  finally  surrender. 

27th.  My  complaint  against  the  elements  was  idle  and  un- 
just. They  might  have  been  ever  so  indulgent,  and  I  should 
be  no  farther  advanced.  The  vessel  got  down  this  day,  and  at 
about  three  in  the  afternoon  the  wind  became  entirely  fair. 
About  the  same  time  received  a  letter  from  my  brother,  inform- 
ing me  that  my  fellow-travellers  will  not  be  ready  till  this 
evening,  and  have  not  expected  to  be.  Soon  after,  Captain 
Graham  came  in,  being  in  a  great  hurry  to  get  away,  but 
assuring  us  that  the  wind  was  contrary  and  that  we  could  not 
sail  this  afternoon.  Several  of  his  passengers  were  unprovided 
with  the  proper  passports,  and  the  Captain  of  the  ship  of  war 
in  the  harbor,  by  whom  they  were  to  be  inspected,  declared 
that  he  could  not  permit  them  to  depart  without  papers  more 
regular.  There  were  a  number  of  passes  from  the  municipal- 
ity, which,  being  in  Latin,  the  Captain  could  not  understand ; 
besides  which,  he  did  not  admit  the  right  of  the  municipality 
to  give  such  papers.  After  a  deal  of  chaffering  and  disputing, 
the  only  remedy  for  the  persons  whose  papers  were  deficient 
was  to  go  immediately  to  the  Hague  and  procure  their  pass- 
ports there.  It  was  supposed  they  might  go,  do  their  business, 
and  return  by  three  o'clock  to-morrow  afternoon.  But  the  fear 
then  was  that  the  vessel  would  go  in  the  morning  and  leave 
them.  Our  Captain  declared  he  could  not  wait  an  hour  in 
case  the  wind  should  be  fair  in  the  morning  ;  but  after  a  great 
deal  of  persuasion,  as  a  special  favor,  consented  to  promise  to 
wait  till  three  o'clock  in  the  afternoon;  but  upon  the  condition, 
which  he  actually  extorted  from  them,  that  they  should  give 
him  a  note  in  writing  promising  to  pay  him  one  hundred  florins 


I28  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [October, 

for  his  complaisance.  The  gentlemen  asked  my  consent  to 
this  delay,  which  I  gave  the  more  willingly  because  I  was  per- 
suaded that  there  was  no  intention  whatever  to  go  in  the  morn- 
ing. Mr.  Allis  and  the  Captain  appear  to  disagree  very  much 
together.  But  either  they  really  agree,  or  the  Captain  has  a 
strong  check  upon  Allis,  for  the  consent  of  the  latter  to  stay 
was  not  even  asked,  at  least  publicly,  and  he  did  not  oppose  it. 
The  cargo  is  Allis's,  and  he  has  been  here  five  or  six  days, 
apparently  very  anxious  to  get  off.  What  can  induce  him  to 
submit  so  tamely  to  a  delay  which,  if  he  be  really  ready  to  go, 
must  be  so  adverse  to  his  interests  ?  My  brother's  letter  gave 
me  the  first  suspicion  that  they  have  been  jointly  practising 
an  imposition  upon  me  and  all  the  other  passengers,  which 
every  observation  I  have  since  made  confirms.  But  I  have 
further  reason  to  believe  that  Allis  is  under  the  harrow,  and 
obliged  to  comply  with  the  Captain's  will  much  against  his 
own,  and  without  daring  to  take  even  the  consolation  of  com- 
plaining.    But  hitherto  I  have  as  to  him  only  suspicions. 

The  passengers  had  not  been  gone  an  hour  when  the  Cap- 
tain declared  he  should  sail  early  in  the  morning,  provided  the 
wind  should  be  fair.  Not  believing  it  to  be  his  real  intention, 
I  only  concluded  that  he  meant  to  continue  the  deception  upon 
me,  and  cared  not  what  my  opinion  of  his  regard  for  his  word 
was,  when  other  persons  were  the  objects  of  his  promises. 

If  indignation  were  of  any  avail  in  this  case,  I  should  in- 
dulge it.  If  by  quitting  this  man  I  could  procure  another 
conveyance  without  a  very  considerable  delay,  or  if  by  that 
delay  I  should  dispose  only  of  my  own  time,  I  would  send 
immediately  for  my  trunks  and  leave  him.  I  believe  the  Cap- 
tain capable  of  anything  that  he  dares,  and  regret  having  any 
concern  whatever  with  him.  Yet  on  the  whole  I  think  the 
chance  of  arrival  with  him  as  rather  earlier  than  it  would  be 
for  me  to  take  another  course,  and,  in  that  consideration,  still 
intend  to  proceed.  I  have  made  a  point  of  preserving  an  ap- 
pearance of  tranquillity,  and  even  of  indifference,  as  to  the 
delays  I  now  meet  with ;  but  I  have  taken  some  pleasure  in 
raising  a  suspicion  in  their  minds  that  their  tricks  to  deceive 
me  are  detected,  and  at  the  same  time  of  leaving  that  suspicion 


1 795-]  A    MISSION   TO    GREAT  BRITAIN.  l2g 

in  suspense.  Allis,  I  believe,  feels  it.  But  the  Captain,  being 
of  blunter  sensibility,  still  thinks  me  as  susceptible  to  his 
manoeuvres  as  ever. 

28th.  Wind  perfectly  fair  the  whole  day.  Jn  the  morning 
Allis  and  the  Captain  made  great  pretensions  of  sailing  imme- 
diately, but,  as  the  forenoon  spent,  I  was  at  length  told  that  we 
should  have  certainly  sailed,  but  the  Captain  of  the  man-of- 
war  would  not  permit  the  vessel  to  sail  until  three  o'clock  in 
the  afternoon,  because  the  promise  to  wait  had  been  made  in 
his  presence.  I  observed  that  I  was  glad  of  it,  as  it  would  ap- 
pear to  me  a  scandalous  transaction  to  sail  before  three,  after 
promising  upon  valuable  consideration  to  wait  till  then.  The 
gentlemen  arrived  with  their  passports  before  two,  and  the 
wind  continued  fair.  Our  contrivers  were  then  reduced  to  a 
hard  shift  for  a  pretext,  and  it  was  accordingly  a  very  clumsy 
one.  The  ship  was  got  under  sail,  and  a  boat  was  procured,  in 
which  Allis  and  I  went  on  board.  He  was  told,  before  we  went 
into  the  boat,  that  the  Pilot  was  not  on  board  the  ship,  but  in- 
sisted that  he  certainly  must  be,  and  was  at  the  same  time  in  a 
great  hurry  to  get  off  without  making  any  further  enquiry  for 
the  Pilot.  Just  before  we  reached  the  ship  the  anchor  was 
dropped,  and  Allis  began  to  lament  and  exclaim,  as  much  as  if 
it  had  been  unexpected  to  him.  The  Pilot  was  indeed  not  on 
board.  It  was  too  late  in  the  afternoon  to  go  out.  The  weather 
looked  dirty,  and  various  other  reasons  equally  substantial 
were  given  for  waiting  till  to-morrow  morning.  I  had  nothing 
to  do  but  to  return  on  shore.  The  Captain  asked  Allis  to  send 
him  a  boat  on  board  to-morrow  morning  at  seven  or  eight 
o'clock.  He  asked  him  also  whether  he  had  got,  he  knew 
zuhat  ?  Allis  said  he  did  not  know  what  he  meant,  but  finally 
said,  "Oh!  you  mean  the  Dutch  money.  Yes;  I  have  it  in 
my  desk."  The  probability  seems  that  Allis  is  waiting  for 
something,  and  pays  the  Captain  as  well  his  demurrage  as 
whatever  passengers  he  may  lose  by  it.  This  is  the  only  thing 
that  I  can  conjecture,  which  gives  a  consistency  to  all  the 
various  appearances.  This  is  a  trial  of  temper  very  different 
from  that  of  an  opposite  wind  mentioned  the  other  day.  "  I 
tax  not  you,  ye  elements,  with  unkindness."  We  submit  to  the 
VOL.  1. — 9 


l-?0  MEMOIRS    OF   JOHN   QUINCY  ADAMS.  [October, 

opposition  of  the  seasons,  if  with  reluctance,  at  least  without 
mortification  ;  but  to  be  made  the  sport  of  our  fellow-creatures 
and  to  see  no  lemedy,  to  perceive  the  artifices  of  fraud  without 
the  means  to  discover  its  track,  or  to  detect  its  purpose,  is  hu- 
miliating as  well  as  vexatious.  I  am  very  strongly  inclined  to 
extricate  myself  entirely  from  their  hands,  and  to  look  out  for 
another  opportunity  to  perform  my  voyage.  Another  of  the 
sweets  of  sea  travelling  is,  that  I  have  got  into  a  public  house 
where  English  temper  and  Jewish  exaction  are  combined  with 
very  bad  fare  for  my  entertainment ;  and  in  this  place  there  is 
no  better  house.  So  that  I  have  at  once  to  deal  with  fraud, 
insolence,  surliness,  extortion,  and  ill-nature.  Can  it  be  sur- 
prising if  the  effect  of  all  this  should  be  to  ruffle  somewhat  of 
one's  serenity?  Yet  I  still  submit  without  much  idle  com- 
plaint. The  want  of  anything  to  do,  or  rather  the  inability  of 
application  to  anything  important,  in  this  situation,  lengthens 
the  details  of  my  Journal,  and  gives  them  their  character.  I 
have  always  found  that  in  travelling  the  only  object  to  which  I 
can  devote  much  attention  is  the  end  of  my  journey,  and  every 
thing  that  tends  to  advance  or  retard  that  magnifies  to  an  inter- 
esting point.  Human  nature,  too,  and  human  qualities,  are 
proper  subjects  of  observation  in  every  situation.  The  knowl- 
edge of  mankind  is  principally  to  be  collected  from  the  ordinary 
occurrences  of  life,  and  among  those  we  meet  in  our  ordinary 
intercourse.  One  of  the  faculties  that  appears  to  me  the  most 
essential  to  the  formation  of  an  extraordinary  character,  is  that 
of  commanding  the  application  of  his  own  mind.  It  is  a  talent 
without  which  there  may  be  genius,  judgment,  virtue,  and 
every  thing  necessary  to  make  valuable,  or  even  good  and 
great  men,  but  which  is  sometimes  of  itself  a  substitute  for  all 
these,  and  in  its  effects  has  perhaps  a  more  extensive  operation 
than  them  all.  A  man  who  does  not  possess  it  may  be  per- 
suaded that  ambition  does  not  become  him,  and  that,  whatever 
his  lot  in  life  may  be,  fortun c  will  always  be  the  principal  ingre- 
dient in  his  success. 

29th.  It  was,  as  far  as  can  be  judged  at  this  time,  a  very 
fortunate  circumstance  that  we  did  not  yesterday  proceed  to 
sea  when  we  went  on  board  the  ship.     In  the  course  of  the 


I795-]  A   MISSION   TO    GREAT  BRITAIN.  j^i 

night  a  violent  gale  of  wind  from  the  south  west  arose,  and 
continued  almost  the  whole  of  this  day.  We  probably  could 
not  have  kept  the  channel  with  it,  and  must  have  been  at  best 
driven  into  the  North  Sea.  Towards  evening  the  weather 
cleared  up,  and  the  wind  came  round  again  about  south.  Mr. 
Allis  saw  this  evening  a  meteor  shoot  from  east  to  west,  an 
infallible  sign,  he  says,  that  the  wind  will  be  easterly  to-morrow. 
But  he  is,  I  think,  not  yet  ready  to  go,  and  appears  to  have 
something  pressing  upon  his  mind.  From  various  circum- 
stances I  am  led  to  suspect  that  the  Captain  does  not  intend 
really  to  go  to  England,  and  I  have  thought  best  this  day  to 
prepare  at  least  to  procure  another  conveyance. 

30th.  If  the  weather  of  yesterday  furnished  a  consolation  for 
my  detention  and  for  the  mortification  of  suffering  an  impo- 
sition, that  of  the  last  night  contributed  to  the  punishment  of 
those  who  pass'd  it  upon  me.  When  the  ship  was  so  in- 
geniously got  under  weigh,  as  evidence  of  an  intention  to  depart 
which  did  not  exist,  she  came  out  from  a  part  of  the  harbor 
that  was  safe  and  protected  from  the  violence  of  the  winds,  and 
when  the  anchor  was  again  dropped  with  so  little  attention  to 
save  appearance,  it  was  in  a  place  where  she  was  more  exposed 
to  the  force  of  a  storm.  The  gale  which  raged  so  much  yester- 
day was  again  renewed  in  the  night  with  redoubled  fury,  and 
in  the  midst  of  it  the  ship  parted  a  cable,  and  drifted  for  some 
time.  She  took  no  other  damage,  however,  except  the  loss  of 
an  anchor.  The  storm  continued  extremely  violent,  and  this 
morning  all  the  passengers,  who  have  been  nearly  eight  days 
on  board,  came  on  shore.  Allis's  infallible  sign  failed  as  usual 
for  the  first  time.  The  gale  has  been  more  excessive  now  than 
at  any  time  before,  and  invariable  from  the  south  west. 

November 4th.  Saw  Captain  Furnald  and  agreed  conditionally 
to  take  passage  with  him.  He  is  not  so  bad  to  appearance  as 
Graham,  but  he  could  not  help  dissimulating,  if  not  disguising 
facts  to  me.  Is  it  impossible  to  deal  with  a  trading  man  with- 
out being  deceived  or  imposed  on  ? 

9th.  After  various  little  difficulties  and  delays,  we  at  length 
got  on  board  the  Schooner  Aurora,  Captain  Furnald,  at  about 
ten  this  morning.     The  wind,  though  favorable,  was  very  light 


!32  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.        [November, 

through  the  day,  and  the  Pilot  left  us  at  about  four  in  the  after- 
noon. The  wind  soon  after  freshened,  and  carried  us  between 
five  and  six  miles  an  hour  all  night. 

ioth.  Slept  not  a  wink,  for  the  motion  of  the  vessel.  A'fter 
mistaking  a  ship's  light  for  that  of  the  South  Foreland,  the  land 
was  really  made  just  before  sunrise.  At  about  nine  in  the 
morning  Mr.  Skinner  and  myself  with  my  servant  went  into  the 
boat  which  brought  out  the  Pilot  to  the  vessel.  The  wind 
being  very  fresh  and  the  sea  high,  it  was  about  an  hour  before 
we  landed  at  Margate.  On  landing  we  found  several  persons 
very  curious  about  the  late  actions  near  the  Rhine,  and  who 
found  it  very  extraordinary  that  we  should  not  give  them  all 
the  details  concerning  them.  There  are  five  mails  from  Ham- 
burg due,  and  it  appears  that  other  people  have  been  as  much 
prevented,  by  the  late  gales  and  contrary  winds,  from  reaching 
this  island  as  myself.  The  gales  have  been  still  more  violent 
here  than  we  found  them  in  Holland.  Great  numbers  of 
vessels  on  the  coast,  as  well  as  trees  and  houses  on  the  land, 
have  suffered  by  them.  We  stopped  at  Michener's  York  Hotel 
till  after  dinner,  and  at  about  five  set  out  in  a  stage  coach  to 
Canterbury.  From  thence  we  proceeded  at  about  nine  in  the 
evening  with  two  or  three  new  travelling  companions,  and, 
after  a  second  sleepless  night,  arrived  early  in  the  morning  at 
London. 

nth.  At  about  eight  in  the  morning  I  descended  from  the 
stage  coach  and  went  to  Osborne's  Hotel,  Adelphi  Buildings,  in 
the  Strand.  After  breakfasting,  went  immediately  to  Great  Cum- 
berland Place,  No.  I,  to  see  Mr.  Deas;  but  found  he  was  not  at 
home.  Went  from  thence  to  Mr.  Johnson's,  the  Consul,  and 
delivered  him  my  letters.  Found  Col.  Trumbull  with  him.  Sent 
my  Letters  that  were  to  be  transmitted.  Dined  with  Mr.  Trum- 
bull, at  Johnson's.  As  I  was  going  out,  Mr.  Deas  delivered 
me  a  couple  of  letters  from  America — one  of  them  from  Mr- 
Pickering,  who  was  exercising  the  office  of  Secretary  of  State, 
vacant  by  Mr.  Randolph's  resignation  on  the  17th  of  August. 

1 2th.  Called,  as  by  agreement,  on  Mr.  Deas,  at  eleven  this 
morning,  and  he  delivered  me  the  rest  of  the  papers  from 
America  for  me.     But  the  first  part  of  my  business  here  was  to 


1 795-1  A   MISSION  TO    GREAT  BRITAIN.  ^3 

exchange  the  ratifications  of  the  Treaty  negotiated  by  Mr.  Jay, 
which  Mr.  Deas  was  ordered  to  execute  in  case  I  should  not 
arrive  here  before  the  20th  of  October,  and  which  he  has  ac- 
cordingly done.  The  instructions  for  the  remainder  of  my 
destined  duties  have  not  yet  arrived,  so  that  I  am  left  with 
nothing  to  do  on  my  mission  here. 

16th.  Meeting  of  the  inhabitants  of  Westminster  in  the  Palace 
Yard  before  Westminster  Hall.  Attended  it.  Saw,  but  did 
not  hear,  Mr.  Fox,  the  Duke  of  Bedford,  and  Mr.  Grey  speak 
to  the  people.  There  appeared  to  me  to  be  about  ten  thousand 
people  present.  Few  of  them  could  hear  their  Orators,  but 
they  waved  their  hats  and  shouted  with  as  much  fervor  as  if 
they  really  knew  what  they  applauded.  Stayed,  however,  not 
long. 

19th.  Mr.  W.  Vaughan  breakfasted  with  me.  Conversation 
with  him  on  the  subject  of  commercial  principles.  He  says 
there  is  some  disposition  to  become  more  liberal  in  the  Cabinet 
here,  which  I  something  scruple.  He  has  a  plan  for  making  a 
wet  dock  in  London,  which  is  connected  with  another  for  making 
the  metropolis  and  several  other  cities  in  this  kingdom  free 
ports.  But  the  time  to  effect  this  is  not  yet  come.  He  intro- 
duced to  me  a  Mr.  Leslie,  an  American  artist  of  much  ingenuity, 
who  showed  us  a  watch  of  his  own  construction,  which  moves 
without  a  chain.  Mr.  Deas  and  Mr.  Bayard  called  at  about 
twelve.  Went  with  them  and  Mr.  Vaughan  to  see  Mr.  Ireland, 
and  saw  several  of  his  manuscripts  which,  he  assures,  have  been 
lately  discovered,  and  are  original  from  the  hand  of  Shake- 
spear.  They  are  deeds,  billets,  a  love-letter  to  Anna  Hatherwaye 
with  a  lock  of  hair,  designs  done  with  a  pen,  a  fair  copy  of 
Lear,  three  or  four  sheets  of  a  Hamlet,  and  a  tragedy,  hitherto 
unknown,  of  Vortigern  and  Rowena.  The  last  we  did  not  see, 
as  unfortunately  some  company  game,  to  which  Mr.  Ireland  was 
obliged  to  attend,  and  we  accordingly  took  our  leave.  The 
marks  of  authenticity  borne  by  the  manuscripts  are  very  con- 
siderable, but  this  matter  will  be  like  to  occasion  as  great  a 
literary  controversy  as  the  supposed  poems  of  Rowley  and 
those  of  Ossian  have  done  They  will  be  published  in  the 
course  of  a  few  weeks  ;  and  the  play  of  Vortigern  is  to  appear 


!34  MEMOIRS    OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.        [November, 

upon  the  Drury  Lane  stage.  Sheridan  has  given  five  hundred 
pounds  for  it.1 

A  Mr.  Bush,  who  was  introduced  to  me  there,  invited  me  to 
attend  the  Common  Hall  that  is  to  be  held  to-morrow  in  the 
City,  to  instruct  their  Representatives  in  Parliament  to  vote 
against  two  bills  now  pending  there,  and  commonly  called 
Convention  Bills.  I  accepted  the  invitation.  This  Mr.  Bush 
appears  to  be  strong  on  the  opposition  party.  He  made  in- 
quiries concerning  General  Washington  (the  President),  and 
said  he  had  many  a  time  drank  his  health  when  it  was  almost 
treason. 

Went  to  the  Drury  Lane  Theatre  in  the  evening.  Shake- 
spear's  attractions  are  irresistible.  Twelfth  Night  was  per- 
formed, with  the  Spanish  Barber.  Mrs.  Jordan  acted  the  part 
of  Viola,  very  much  to  my  satisfaction.  The  whole  perform- 
ance was  very  good. 

20th.  Mr.  Bush  called  on  me  this  morning  between  eleven  and 
twelve.  Went  with  him  to  the  Guild  Hall,  and  were  introduced 
by  Mr.  Rix,  the  town  Clerk,  to  a  seat  in  one  of  the  galleries. 
The  Hall  was  very  full;  there  must  have  been  about  three 
thousand  persons  present.  The  motion  to  instruct  the  mem- 
bers in  Parliament  to  vote  against  the  bills  was  made  by  Alder- 
man Combe,  and  was  supported  by  Alderman  Pickett  and  Mr. 
W.  Smith,  both  members  of  Parliament.  It  was  opposed  by 
Alderman  Lushington,  a  member  for  the  City,  and  by  Sir  Ben- 
jamin Hammett.  The  speakers  in  favor  of  the  motion  were 
heard  with  much  favor,  and  those  against  it  with  as  little. 
The  vote  to  instruct  was  carried  by  a  great  majority.  The 
meeting,  upon  the  whole,  was  as  orderly  as  such  a  numerous 
collection  of  people  possibly  can  be  on  an  occasion  highly  in- 
teresting to  their  feelings.  But  such  large  assemblies  are  very 
unfit  for  a  cool  and  impartial  deliberation  upon  important  pub- 
lic measures.  They  may  serve  to  ascertain  the  popular  feelings, 
but  they  are  no  places  for  the  triumph  of  reason. 

At  Drury  Lane  Theatre  again,  to  see  Lear,  which  was  fol- 
lowed by  the  Village  Lawyer,  taken  from  the  French  Avocat 

1  This  literary  imposture,  like  that  of  Chatterton,  has  passed  into  oblivion  with 
later  generations,  but  it  attracted  much  interest  in  its  time. 


I795-]  A   MISSION  TO    GREAT  BRITAIN.  x-,r 

Patelin.  Kemble  did  tolerable  justice  to  the  part  of  the  old 
King,  and  Mrs.  Siddons  could  not  do  otherwise  to  that  of 
Cordelia.  But  in  this  instance,  as  in  several  others,  I  have 
found  that  the  stage  does  not  support  the  merit  of  Shakespear 
in  the  closet.  The  acted  play  is  very  different  from  the  printed 
one.  An  amour  between  Edgar,  the  legitimate  son  of  Gloster, 
and  Cordelia,  is  introduced.  And  the  catastrophe  closes  with 
their  marriage,  with  the  gift  of  the  kingdom  to  them  by  Lear, 
to  whom  it  is  restored  for  that  purpose.  If  this  termination  be 
less  pathetic  than  that  of  the  original,  it  is  more  pleasing  to 
those  who  are  fond  of  poetical  retribution.  But  the  sentiment 
of  filial  affection,  the  great  characteristic  of  Cordelia,  is  weak- 
ened by  this  mixture,  and  would  be  almost  effaced  by  it  if  the 
love  intrigue  were  not  extremely  frigid.  Mrs.  Siddons  makes 
it  completely  so,  and,  although  this  may  be  considered  as  a 
proof  of  her  judgment,  the  character  designed  by  the  poet  evi- 
dently suffers  from  the  alteration.  The  Village  Lawyer  is  a 
mere  piece  of  buffoonery,  in  which  the  powers  of  Bannister 
Junr.,  Swett,  and  Wathen  combine  to  produce  a  good  laugh. 
I  sat  next  to  a  gentleman  who  entertained  me  with  some  ob- 
servations upon  the  players.  The  part  of  Gloster  in  the  Tragedy, 
he  told  me,  was  acted  by  Packer,  one  of  those  who  are  always 
called  respectable  performers.  "  That  is  a  way  they  have,"  said 
he,  "  of  half  damning  a  man.  It  means  more  than  indifferent, 
and  less  than  good.  An  actor  had  better  be  any  thing  than 
respectable." 

2 ist.  Mr.  Bayard1  called  on  me,  and  invited  me  to  go  with 
him  and  attend  the  session  of  the  Lords  Commissioners  of 
Appeals,  which  I  did.  They  sit  in  the  Cock-pit  at  the  Treas- 
ury. Lord  Mansfield,  of  old  times  notorious  to  Americans  by 
the  name  of  Stormont,  the  Lord  Chief  Justice  of  the  Common 
Pleas,  Eyre,  the  Lord  Chief  Baron  of  the  Exchequer,  McDon- 
ald, the  Master  of  the  Rolls,  Sir  R.  P.  Arden,  Sir  William 
Winne,  and  two  or  three  others,  were  present  as  Commission- 
ers.    One  cause  I  heard  argued — the  case  of  the  Molly,  Cap- 

i  Mr.  Bayard  had  been  sent  to  England  with  a  Commission  as  agent  in  the  cases 
of  appeal  growing  out  of  the  capture  of  certain  American  vessels,  under  the  Orders 
in  Council  affecting  the  interests  of  neutral  Powers. 


!36  MEMOIRS    OF   JOHN   QUINCY  ADAMS.        [November, 

tain  Young.  It  was  affirmed  by  the  counsel  on  one  part,  and 
admitted  on  the  other,  that  in  this  case  the  property  of  the 
cargo  was  sworn  by  Mr.  Fenwick,  the  American  Consul  at 
Bordeaux,  to  be  altogether  American,  though  in  fact  it  was 
entirely  French.  What  sort  of  officers  have  the  American 
Government  placed  in  their  Consular  employments ! 

22d.  Went  with  Dr.  Edwards,  and  dined  with  Sir  John  Sin- 
clair. The  company  were  a  Captain  Sinclair,  Dr.  Percy,  Mr. 
Boswell  (not  Peter's  Bozzy),  Sir  John  McPherson,  a  Count 
Rumford,  heretofore  known  by  the  name  of  Sir  Benjamin 
Thompson,  Mr.  Marshall,  and  Arthur  Young,  both  writers  on 
subjects  of  Agriculture,  and  one  or  two  other  gentlemen  un- 
known to  me.  The  convivial  hours  of  scientific  men  are  known 
to  be  little  more  instructive  than  those  of  humbler  pretensions. 
The  conversation  was  miscellaneous  :  philosophical,  political, 
and  literary.  We  had  some  bread  made  of  one-third  rice  and 
two-thirds  wheat,  which  I  could  not  have  distinguished  from  fine 
wheat  bread;  some  water  impregnated  with  fixed  air,  &c.  The 
Count,  who  wears  a  blue  ribband,  and  who  has  doubtless 
made  philosophy  a  means  for  his  advancement,  told  me  that 
he  had  met  with  nothing  that  flattered  him  more  than  his  hav- 
ing been  elected  as  a  member  of  the  American  Academy  of 
Arts  and  Sciences ;  that  he  had  taken  it  as  a  very  honorable 
testimony  of  the  liberality  of  Americans,  and  that  he  retained 
a  great  regard  and  attachment  to  that  country.  He  mentioned 
his  design  of  applying  a  sum  of  money,  the  interest  of  which 
is  to  be  made  an  annual  premium  to  be  given  by  the  American 
Academy  for  the  best  paper  on  the  subject  of  Light  and  Heat. 
He  has  applied  a  similar  sum  for  the  same  purpose  to  the 
Royal  Society,  of  which  he  is  also  a  member.  Sir  John 
McPherson  and  Dr.  Percy  made  a  number  of  very  sensible 
observations.  They  both  declared  their  opinion  that  the  manu- 
scripts of  Mr.  Ireland  were  unquestionably  genuine,  but  they 
both  expressed  an  opinion  as  to  the  composition  of  the  small 
papers,  and  particularly  of  that  called  the  profession  of  faith, 
higher  than  I  think  they  deserve.  Mr.  Young  appeared  neither 
more  nor  less  than  a  thick-and-thin  political  partisan,  and  such 
as  might  be  expected  from  his  last  pamphlet — somewhat  dog- 


1795]  A   MISSION  TO    GREAT  RRITAIN.  j^y 

matical,  and  impatient  of  contradiction.  Sir  John  Sinclair  him- 
self was  more  politically  reserved.  He  told  me  that  his  labors 
for  the  improvement  of  the  fleece  were  in  a  great  measure 
merged  in  the  more  extensive  pursuits  of  the  Board  of  Agri- 
culture, instituted  under  the  authority  and  direction  of  Parlia- 
ment by  his  persevering  exertions.  His  plan  was  indeed,  he 
said,  so  extensive  that  he  had  not  ventured  to  let  it  be  entirely 
known,  but  had  added  the  words  "and  internal  improvement" 
to  those  of  "  Board  of  Agriculture,"  in  soliciting  the  Institution, 
so  that  the  utmost  latitude  might  be  possessed  for  making 
every  species  of  improvement. 

24th.  Called  on  Dr.  Edwards,  by  agreement,  between  twelve 
and  one,  to  go  with  him  and  visit  Mr.  West.  He  proposed  to  me 
to  take  the  same  opportunity  to  visit  Mr.  Morris1  at  the  York 
Hotel,  Covent  Garden,  which  we  did  accordingly.  This  is  the 
first  time  I  ever  saw  that  gentleman,  who  conversed  with  as 
much  freedom  as  from  his  character  I  expected.  We  had  not 
been  there  a  quarter  of  an  hour  when  he  asked  me  whether  I 
was  accredited  to  this  Court,  or  was  only  a  Commissioner  with 
full  powers.  The  simple  truth  is  sometimes  as  well  prepared 
to  meet  such  questions  as  the  most  artificial  refinement.  I  an- 
swered, "  Neither."  He  then  observed  that  he  had  not  asked 
the  question  from  an  impertinent  curiosity,  but  because  he 
meant,  in  case  my  mission  was,  as  had  been  reported,  to  nego- 
tiate upon  the  subject  of  the  Treaty,  to  offer  me  any  assistance 
in  point  of  information  that  might  be  in  his  power ;  for  which 
I  thanked  him.  "You  will  find,  I  think,"  said  he,  "the  Cabinet 
here  well  disposed  to  America."  "Do  you  think  so,  sir?" 
"  Yes,  they  are  so  now.  They  hesitate  a  little  upon  the  de- 
pendence they  can  place  on  the  American  Government.  They 
see  such  a  display  of  opposition  to  it  from  the  anti-federal 
faction  there,  that  they  are  afraid  of  losing  the  neutrality  of 
America."     "  But,"  said  I,  "  are  they  really  so  much  attached 

1  Gouverneur  Morris,  already  referred  to  in  an  earlier  note  (p.  62)  as  having  been 
recalled  from  his  mission  to  France  for  having  too  deeply  involved  himself  in 
French  politics.  One  of  the  most  interesting  figures  in  the  early  period  of  the 
Federal  government.  It  is  much  to  be  regretted  that  the  biography,  prepared 
from  original  papers  by  Mr.  Sparks,  falls  so  short  of  giving  the  full  history  and 
character  of  the  man. 


^8  MEMOIRS    OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.        [November, 

to  our  neutrality?  Would  they  not  prefer  to  see  that  oppo- 
sition which  you  speak  of  kept  up  in  all  its  strength  ?  Do 
they  not  wish  to  have  the  American  Government  shackled  and 
harassed,  or  driven  into  measures  which  shall  exhibit  to  the 
world  the  wavering,  unsteady  policy  of  weakness  ?"  "  Not  at 
present.  There  was  a  time,  just  after  their  capture  of  Toulon, 
when  they  thought  themselves  about  to  carry  everything  be- 
fore them,  when  they  were  backed  by  all  Europe ;  then,  I  sup- 
pose, they  did  intend  to  bring  on  a  quarrel  with  America. 
They  imagined  they  could  compass  any  point  they  pleased. 
But  they  have  found  they  cannot  go  through  with  that  dra- 
gooning system  ;  they  have  made  their  arrangements  upon  a 
plan  that  comprehends  the  neutrality  of  the  United  States,  and 
are  anxious  that  it  should  be  preserved.  As  to  their  personal 
dispositions,  the  King  himself  is  not,  and  never  will  be,  cordi- 
ally well  inclined  towards  the  Americans;  because  the  greater 
their  prosperity  may  be,  the  more  poignant  all  his  feelings  of 
regret  will  be  at  his  having  lost  so  fine  an  estate.  The  Prince 
of  Wales  partakes  of  the  same  sentiments.  In  the  Council 
there  is  a  great  division.  Among  its  members  there  are  sev- 
eral who  were  the  most  active  and  inveterate  advisers  of  the 
American  war.  They  hate  us  completely.  But  the  others  are 
very  differently  disposed.  Mr.  Pitt,  indeed,  is  not  to  be  de- 
pended on.  He  varies  according  to  circumstances  ;  but  Lord 
Grenville  is  another  sort  of  man.  Those  among  the  Ministers 
of  other  nations  who  know  him  best  tell  me  that  he  does  not 
indeed  always  say  all  that  he  does  mean,  but  that  reliance  may 
be  placed  upon  all  that  he  does  say." 

The  conversation  here  took  another  turn.  Mr.  Morris,  by  his 
own  account,  must  be  a  very  able  negotiator,  for  he  gave  us  to 
understand  that  while  he  was  our  Minister  in  France,  he  knew 
every  thing  that  was  going  forward.  It  was  his  business  to  know 
it,  he  said,  and  he  told  us  a  number  of  curious  anecdotes  con- 
nected with  the  history  of  the  Revolution  in  France — of  the 
papers  he  had  seen  before  the  ioth  of  August,  1792,  handed  to 
him  by  the  King,  and  which  contained  the  whole  plan  of  the 
insurrection  that  took  place  on  that  day.  "  It  was,"  he  says, 
"  planned  by  the  Brissotine  party  at  the  Jacobins,  but  they  were 


179*-]  A    MISSION  TO    GREAT  BRITAIN.  i^g 

cowards,  and  would  have  shrunk  back  from  the  execution,  but 
for  Westermann,  whom  they  had  employed  to  command  their 
Marseillese.  He  was  the  greatest  mauvais  snjct  in  France,  and 
when  he  had  once  got  fairly  engaged  in  that  business  not  only 
refused  to  retreat,  but  threatened  the  others  to  denounce  them  if 
they  flinched.  And  yet,"  says  Mr.  Morris,  "those  people  were 
not  ashamed  of  declaring  the  King  guilty  of  an  insurrection 
against  the  People  on  that  same  ioth  of  August.  If,  however, 
he  had  at  the  time  of  his  trial  put  himself  into  the  hands  of 
the  other  party,  they  would  have  spared  his  life."  Chabot 
himself  said  so  to  a  person  who  told  it  to  Mr.  Morris.  They 
would  not  have  suffered  the  trial,  by  asserting  the  principle 
that  the  Convention  had  no  right  to  try  him.  But,  as  he  com- 
mitted himself  to  the  Brissotines,  Chabot  said  that  he  must  die, 
that  being  the  only  way  to  get  at  them. 

From  this  account  of  a  first  conversation  it  appears  that  Mr. 
Morris  is  sufficiently  communicative  for  a  man  of  such  ex- 
traordinary diplomatic  penetration.  The  time  of  secrecy  as  to 
these  affairs  is  indeed  passed.  But  this  parade  of  sagacity, 
these  lessons  in  the  theory  and  practice  of  negotiation  so  freely 
given  and  so  liberally  tendered — what  do  they  mean  ? 

We  found  Mr.  West  almost  laid  up  with  the  gout.  Made 
our  visit  to  him  quite  short. 

25th.  Went  in  the  morning  to  see  Mr.  Hammond,  who,  since 
his  return  from  America,  is  an  undersecretary  of  State  in  Lord 
Grenville's  office.  He  received  me  with  politeness ;  told  me 
he  was  very  glad  I  had  arrived,  and  wished  I  had  come 
sooner.  He  said  the  Ministers,  and  particularly  Lord  Gren- 
ville,  were  perfectly  well  disposed  to  promote  the  harmony 
between  the  two  countries,  and  I  told  him  that  my  own  dispo- 
sition was  entirely  reciprocal.  He  mentioned  the  circumstances 
of  Mr.  Randolph's  resignation,  nearly  as  I  had  heard  them 
before,  and  showed  me  part  of  a  newspaper  containing  Mr. 
Randolph's  letter  to  the  President  on  the  subject,  dated  from 
Germantown,  September  19,  and  promising  an  explanation 
of  the  matter:  as  also  another  piece  of  newspaper,  containing 
General  Wayne's  Treaty  with  the  Indians.  They  were  both 
marked  "in  No.  8"  with  a  pen;  a  reference,  as  I  conclude,  to 


!40  MEMOIRS    OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.        [November, 

the  letter  from  Mr.  Bond  that  contained  them.  Mr.  Hammond 
said  that  he  did  not  mean  to  speak  officially,  but  as  an  old  friend 
and  acquaintance:  they  were  not  satisfied  here  with  Mr.  Deas; 
his  letters  were  too  violent  and  fractious,  and  expressed  in  irri- 
tating terms.  I  told  him  that,  being  very  desirous  that  every 
thing  of  that  kind  should  be  avoided,  I  had  learnt  with  great 
pain  the  proceedings  of  some  officers  in  the  British  service  in 
America,  on  which  I  understood  that  Mr.  Deas  had  already 
made  representations.  "  Yes,"  he  said,  "  he  regretted  them 
much  ;  that  I  might  be  assured  the  Ministers  would  not  coun- 
tenance any  misbehavior  of  the  officers  ;  that  they  could  not, 
however,  condemn  a  man  unheard.  The  Lords  of  the  Ad- 
miralty had  already  issued  orders  to  Captain  Home,  in  order 
to  hear  what  he  had  to  say  in  his  exculpation,  and  another 
Vice- Consul  had  been  appointed  in  the  room  of  Mr.  Moore." 
I  told  him  that  I  had  heard  with  much  pleasure  that  a  frigate 
had  been  dispatched  with  the  orders  for  making  the  arrange- 
ments relative  to  the  delivery  of  the  posts.  He  said,  "  Yes, 
those  orders  had  been  dispatched ;  but,  unfortunately,  the  frigate 
had  met  with  such  a  violent  gale  of  wind  that  she  had  been 
obliged  to  throw  her  guns  overboard  and  to  return  into  port; 
that  duplicates,  however,  had  been  sent  out."  This  circum- 
stance of  the  frigate's  returning  is  too  remarkable  not  to  be 
noticed. 

26th.  Received  a  card  from  Mr.  Hammond,  requesting  me 
to  call  at  his  office  to-morrow,  Lord  Grenville  being  desirous 
to  have  some  conversation  with  me  on  business  relating  to  the 
Treaty. 

27th.  Called,  as  requested,  at  Mr.  Hammond's  office,  and  he 
introduced  me  to  Lord  Grenville.  My  conversation  with  him 
will  be  related  in  my  letters  to  the  Secretary  of  State.  Some 
conversation  afterwards  with  Mr.  Hammond.  He  told  me  he 
wished  Mr.  Pinckney  would  go  home,  and  that  I  might  be 
placed  here  in  his  stead.  Enquired  whether  I  should  not  like 
it  as  well  as  being  at  the  Hague.  Answered  him  that  this  was 
a  pleasant  country,  and  that  personally  I  thought  the  residence 
here  would  be  very  agreeable.  He  asked  if  I  had  any  news 
from  America.    I  answered,  none.     He  said  he  heard  the  demo- 


1795]  A   MISSION  TO    GREAT  BRITAIN.  j^j 

crats  were  quite  cock-a-zvhoop — talked  very  high  of  impeaching 
the  President,  &c.  "  There  always  will  be  in  all  countries," 
said  I,  "  people  that  will  talk  very  high.  You  find  that  in  this 
country,  as  well  as  elsewhere."  "Ay,"  said  he,  "the  best  way 
is  to  let  them  talk."  "  Your  Government  seem  to  think  other- 
wise," I  might  have  said;  but  I  preferred  saying  nothing,  not 
choosing  to  imitate  his  conduct.  He  suggested  that  the  place 
of  ordinary  Minister  here  would  be  very  agreeable  to  me,  be- 
cause it  would  be  succeeding  to  the  station  my  father  had 
held.  "That  may  do  very  well  for  you,"  said  I.  "You  may 
be  an  aristocrat  with  propriety ;  but  in  my  country,  you  know, 
there  is  nothing  hereditary  in  public  offices." 

This  foolish  talk  of  his  is  very  intelligible.  "  I  do  see  to  the 
bottom  of  this  Justice  Shallow  ;"  but  he  knows  not  me.  If  I 
stay  here  any  time,  he  will  learn  to  be  not  quite  so  fond,  nor 
yet  quite  so  impertinent. 

28th.  The  situation  of  our  public  affairs  lays  a  weight  of 
anxiety  on  my  mind  that  is  really  distressing.  The  idea  of 
what  may  depend  on  my  conduct  at  this  moment,  not  only  as 
respects  myself,  but  as  it  concerns  the  interests  of  my  country, 
is  oppressive.  But  the  die  is  cast.  Here  I  must  be,  spite  of 
my  wishes  and  endeavors.  My  duty  to  the  best  of  my  judg- 
ment shall  be  done;  the  result  must  be  left  to  Providence. 

30th.  Called  on  Mr.  Deas  this  forenoon.  He  read  me  a  pas- 
sage of  a  letter  from  Mr.  Pinckney,  from  which  it  appears  that 
he  is  to  be  expected  here  by  Christmas.  His  arrival  will  be  a 
great  relief  to  me.  Wrote  to  him,  requesting  he  would  expe- 
dite his  march  as  much  as  possible.  Evening  at  Drury  Lane 
by  mistake.  Lee's  Alexander.  Great  show  of  representation, 
but  an  indifferent  Tragedy.  Kemble  and  Mrs.  Siddons  per- 
formed well,  as  usual.  Peeping  Tom  of  Coventry,  the  farce, 
humorous  enough. 

December  1st.  Called  on  Mr.  Hammond  at  noon,  as  by  ap- 
pointment, and  had  considerable  conversation  with  him.  But 
his  tone  with  me  begins  already  to  be  different  from  what  it  was 
at  first.  His  conversation  was  still  such  as  if  he  thought  my 
personal  feelings  or  sentiments  upon  political  subjects  would 
have  a  tendency  to  make  me  complaisant.     Asked  if  I  had 


I42  MEMOIRS    OF   JOHN  QUIXCY  ADAMS.         [December, 

heard  any  thing  of  the  President's  intending  to  resign.  Told 
him  no.  He  said  he  had  heard  such  was  his  determination  at 
the  expiration  of  his  present  term,  in  case  there  should  be  no 
troubles  in  the  country.  What  sort  of  a  soul  does  this  man 
suppose  I  have  ?  He  talked  about  the  Virginians,  the  South- 
ern People,  the  democrats  ;  but  I  let  him  know  that  I  consider 
them  all  in  no  other  light  than  as  Americans.  They  never 
shall  be  considered  by  me  in  any  other  light  in  treating  with  for- 
eigners. He  spoke  again  of  Mr.  Randolph's  resignation.  I  told 
him  I  had  seen  an  account  from  which,  if  true,  it  appeared  clearly 
that  there  was  nothing  like  bribery  in  the  case.  He  said  that 
the  President,  Mr.  Wolcott,  Mr.  Pickering,  and  Mr.  Bradford 
were  all  fully  convinced  that  Randolph  was  guilty.  I  replied  that, 
not  having  seen  the  papers,  I  could  not  be  a  competent  judge 
of  the  facts ;  that  the  public  officers  he  mentioned  might  think 
there  had  been  improper  conduct  without  believing  there  was 
any  corruption.  He  said  he  had  not  the  smallest  doubt  but 
Randolph  was  bribed  by  the  French  ;  and  added,  he  had  better 
be  quiet  on  that  score  ;  for  if  he  presumed  to  deny  it,  other 
proof,  amounting  to  demonstration,  would  be  produced.  He 
said  he  would  show  me  the  next  time  I  should  see  him  the 
intercepted  dispatches  of  Fauchet.  But  he  promised  me  the 
same,  thing  once  before,  and  I  question  whether  he  means  I 
shall  see  them.  He  says  they  abuse  all  the  federalists  very 
much,  particularly  my  father  (another  address  to  my  feelings, 
fruitless  like  all  the  rest);  that  they  speak  highly  of  Mifflin, 
Dallas,  Jefferson,  Madison,  and  Giles;  of  Randolph  and  Mon- 
roe. "Perhaps,"  said  I,  "this  was  because  he  thought  those 
persons  not  much  your  friends."  "  Ah,"  said  he,  "  but  they  are 
your  enemies  more  than  they  are  ours."  "  No,  indeed,"  said  I, 
"they  are  not  in  my  opinion  our  enemies."  "  Yes,  they  hate 
us,"  said  he,  "  because  they  owe  us  money,  and  they  hate  you 
because  you  will  not  let  them  owe  you  money."  "  Why,  they 
do  not  owe  you  much  money  now  ;  that  matter  is  in  a  great 
measure  settled  already.  The  old  debts  are  principally  dis- 
charged ;  and  as  to  all  recent  ones,  we  pay  your  people  to  ad- 
miration. Indeed,  we  are  the  best  customers  you  have.  What 
an  immense  quantity  of  your  manufactures  we  take!     You 


1 795.]  A   MISSION   TO    GREAT  BRITAIN.  143 

swallow  up  almost  all  the  balance  of  trade  in  our  favor  that 
we  get  from  every  other  quarter,  and  your  trade  with  us  sup- 
plies you  principally  with  the  means  of  supporting  your  war." 
"  But  we  are  the  best  customers  you  have,  too.  We  take  more 
articles  of  yours  than  anybody  else  does."  "Ay,  but  in  no 
proportion  to  what  you  sell  us,  and  the  balance  in  your  favor 
is  prodigious."  "  True,  there  is  a  balance,  to  be  sure;  but  as  to 
the  old  debts,  you  are  mistaken  in  supposing  them  small.  When 
that  Commission  comes  to  sit,  you  will  find  they  amount  to 
three  or  four  millions  sterling."  "  Well,  the  Commission  will 
see;  but  I  have  no  idea  that  the  amount  will  be  comparable  to 
the  sum  you  suggest." 

This  conversation  was  far  from  pleasant  to  him.  At  least  it 
was  very  different  from  what  he  was  doubtless  disposed  that  I 
should  hold. 

He  came  at  last  to  a  language  not  less  intelligible,  but  rather 
more  of  unqualified  acid.  "Well,  said  he,  "  Congress  is  to 
meet  next  Monday;  and  if  they  do  not  pass  such  laws  as  will 
be  necessary  to  give  effect  to  the  Treaty,  we  shall  be  all  at  sea 
again.  And  I  hear  that  the  Anti-federalists  threaten  very  high." 
This  perpetual  allusion  to  an  American  party,  and  affectation 
of  an  idea  that  our  sense  of  injuries  from  this  country  is  con- 
fined to  that  party  alone,  at  length  gave  me  an  opportunity  to 
touch  another  string.  "  Why,"  said  I,  "  all  Governments  have 
their  opposition,  who  find  fault  with  every  thing.  Who  has 
better  reason  to  know  that  than  you  have  in  this  country  ? 
But  in  America,  you  know,  opposition  speaks  in  a  louder  voice 
than  anywhere  else.  Every  thing  comes  out.  We  have  no 
lurking  disaffection  that  works  in  secret  and  is  not  seen ; 
nothing  that  rankles  at  the  heart  while  the  face  wears  a  smile. 
So  that  a  very  trifling  opposition  naturally  makes  a  great 
show."  He  felt  evidently  the  force  of  this,  and  must  have 
meant  I  should  know  it;  for  he  immediately  after  enquired 
how  I  liked  the  two  bills  now  pending  in  Parliament.1     "  They 

1  An  act  for  the  safety  and  preservation  of  His  Majesty's  person  and  govern- 
ment against  treasonable  and  seditious  practices. 

An  act  for  the  more  effectual  preventing  seditious  mutinies  and  assemblages. 
The  immediate  cause  for  these  measures  was  the  treatment  of  the  King,  George 


144  MEMOIRS    OF  JOHN   QUINCY  ADAMS.         [December, 

are  matters,"  said  I,  "  of  internal  arrangement,  concerning 
which  I  have  a  right  scarcely  to  form  an  opinion,  in  my  present 
situation.  But  they  are  as  objects  of  speculation  measures 
highly  interesting,  and  therefore  have  attracted  much  of  my 
attention."  "  Well,"  said  he,  "  as  soon  as  you  have  been  pre- 
sented at  Court,  I  will  go  and  introduce  you,  and  you  can  then 
take  a  place  under  the  galleries,  in  the  House  of  Commons, 
with  the  Foreign  Ministers  ;  and  I  will  introduce  you,  too,  at 
the  House  of  Lords,  where  you  can  stand  behind  the  throne." 
"Apropos  of  being  presented  at  Court,"  said  I,  "  My  Lord 
Grenville  has  appointed  me  to-morrow  at  eleven  o'clock  to  call 
on  him  here,  and  I  understood  from  him  that  to-morrow  would 
be  the  day  for  my  presentation.  I  have  to  enquire  of  you  the 
forms  of  that  ceremony,  concerning  which  I  am  ignorant." 
"  No  forms,"  said  he,  "  in  particular.  After  the  Levee  you 
will  go  into  the  King's  closet.  Sir  Clement  Cottrell  will  go 
before  you,  and  Lord  Grenville  behind  you,  or  something  like, 
and  then  you  will  deliver  your  credentials.  That  is  all."  "  They 
are  under  a  flying  seal.  Should  they  be  delivered  sealed,  or 
open?"  "Sealed."  "The  style  of  address  to  the  King?" 
"  Sir,  and  your  Majesty.  But  did  Lord  Grenville  appoint  you 
to-morrow  at  eleven  o'clock?  Are  you  sure  it  was  not  at 
one?"  "Yes.  It  was  certainly  eleven  he  said."  "  Well,  then 
you  had  better  come  in  undress  at  eleven,  or  a  quarter  after 
eleven,  and  you  can  return  to  dress  before  the  Levee  time." 

N.B.  He  spoke  again  of  the  bills  pending  in  Parliament. 
"  I  like  them  very  well,"  said  he.  "  They  are  necessary  to 
preserve  the  Government;  and  that  is  very  important  to  this 
country,  and  to  yours  too ;  for,  'depend  upon  it,  if  this  Govern- 
ment falls,  your  Government  will  fall  too!'  "  Oh,"  said  I,  "  you 
joke  when  you  talk  of  a  Government  so  very  strong  as  yours 
falling."  "  No,"  said  he,  "  it  is  not  very  strong ;  it  is  weak,  too 
weak,  and  we  must  strengthen  it.  But  these  measures  will 
have  that  effect."  "  Indeed,"  said  I,  "  I  agree  with  you  that 
the  present  period  is  momentous ;  that  it  looks  gloomy  to  the 
whole  civilized  world.     But  you  know  there  is  the  point  where 

the  Third,  on  his  way  to  the  House  of  Lords,  by  a  mob  assembled  at  the  instigation 
of  popular  meetings  held  by  societies  organized  in  London. 


1795]  A   MISSION  TO    GREAT  BRITAIiV.  j^ 

the  two  opinions  part ;  and  while  some  think  that  Governments 
ought  to  be  strengthened,  others  believe  they  require  weaken- 
ing. Now,  this  is  a  serious  question."  "  Ah,  yes,  that  indeed  !" 
said  he.  He  asked  if  I  had  any  credentials  for  the  Queen.  I 
told  him,  "  No ;  that  the  object  of  my  appointment  is  special, 
— merely  to  transact  a  particular  business;  that  my  character 
here  was  entirely  informal,  and  the  American  Government  had 
not  therefore  supposed  the  credentials  to  the  Queen  necessary, 
or  perhaps  proper.  And  indeed,"  I  added,  "  it  will  only  be 
during  Mr.  Pinckney's  absence  that  I  have  to  transact  this 
business,  and  he  is  now  expected  back  in  a  very  few  days,  as 
he  has  already  left  Madrid."  At  this  moment  I  fixed  my  eye 
specially  upon  his  countenance,  and  saw  clearly  what  I  ex- 
pected. "  What !"  said  he,  "has  he  signed  the  Treaty?"  "I 
know  not,"  said  I,  "  how  he  has  finished  his  business,  but  he 
has  done  there."  It  had  its  effect.  His  mortification  at  the 
news  was  clearly  perceptible.  It  is  indeed  true  that,  in  saying 
Mr.  Pinckney  had  finished  in  Spain,  my  tone  was  such  as  I 
believe  satisfied  Hammond  that  the  circumstance  was  pleasing 
to  me.  But  the  news  was  equally  displeasing  to  him.  We 
both  view  it  as  very  important,  in  two  points  of  light.  The 
prospect  of  one  enemy  the  less  for  America,  and  one  more  for 
Britain,  did  not  escape  either  of  us.  I  then  added,  that  I  was 
glad  Mr.  Pinckney  was  returning,  and  observed  I  thought  him 
well  disposed  towards  them  here,  and  towards  the  peace  of  the 
two  nations.  He  made  no  answer,  but  mentioned  Mr.  Deas. 
I  said  I  believed  him  well  disposed,  too;  that  nothing  I  had 
ever  heard  him  say  indicated  otherwise.  He  said  that  a  few 
days  before  my  arrival  he  (Hammond)  had  written  to  Mr. 
Deas,  requesting  to  see  him  on  business;  but  that  he  neither 
came,  nor  returned  an  answer.  "  But  I  imagine,"  said  he,  "  that 
he  did  not  receive  my  letter."  I  said  that  must  certainly  be 
the  case,  for  I  was  sure  Mr.  Deas  would  not  do  any  thing  dis- 
respectful to  him.  Such  was  the  substance  of  our  conversation. 
But  there  were  two  other  things  he  said  that  I  could  not 
but  remark.  He  enquired  how  I  liked  my  lodgings  in  the 
Adelphi,  and  whether  I  did  not  find  them  too  noisy.  I  said  no. 
He  said  I  had  better  take  lodgings  in  some  of  the  private  houses 

VOL.     I.  —  IO 


146  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.        [December, 

of  the  neighborhood.  Does  he  wish  to  have  facilities  for 
keeping  spies  over  me,  greater  than  my  present  lodgings  give 
him,  or  does  he  fear  I  sJiall  change,  and,  by  advising  me  to  it, 
think  it  will  deter  me  from  changing?  He  likewise  enquired 
whether  I  had  been  at  Drury  Lane  Theatre.  Told  him  yes ;  I 
was  there  last  evening.  He  asked  me  whether  I  did  not  think 
it  the  handsomest  play-house  I  had  ever  seen,  and  particularly 
superior  to  any  in  Paris.  Told  him  it  was  certainly  a  very  fine 
house.  "  Well,"  said  he,  "  when  you  write  to  your  father,  you 
will  please  to  give  my  compliments  to  him,  and  you  can  tell 
him  that  our  Theatres  now  are  equal  to  those  of  France."  "  Oh, 
yes,"  said  I,  "  I  can  tell  him  that  in  your  opinion  they  are  much 
superior." 

Hammond  is  a  man  of  intrigue.  His  question,  whether  Mr. 
Pinckney  had  signed  the  Treaty  in  Spain,  implies  at  least  that 
he  knew  there  was  a  Treaty  to  sign.  His  question  on  the  sub- 
ject of  my  having  been  at  Drury  Lane  was  probably  suggested 
by  some  previous  information  he  had  received.  Mr.  Pinckney's 
letter  to  Mr.  Deas,  received  yesterday,  came  by  post.  My 
letter  to  my  mother  mentioned  my  having  been  at  Drury  Lane. 
I  sent  it  last  Sunday  to  the  New  York  Coffee  House.  Had  not 
Hammond  seen  them  both? 

2d.  While  I  was  with  Mr.  Hammond  yesterday,  a  card  was 
delivered  to  him  from  Mr.  Deas,  which  he  showed  me  with  an 
expressive  smile.  It  proposed  that  Deas  should  (this  day,  I 
think)  introduce  Mr.  Bayard  to  Hammond,  and  requested  to 
know  whether  Lord  Grenville  would  present  him  (Deas)  at  the 
Queen's  drawing-room  next  week.  I  had  told  both  Deas  and 
Bayard  that  Lord  Grenville  had  appointed  me  this  day  at  eleven 
o'clock  to  see  him  at  his  office.  Bayard  then,  at  his  house  on 
Sunday,  asked  me  to  introduce  him  to  Lord  Grenville,  from 
which,  considering  the  request  somewhat  singular,  I  excused 
myself,  on  the  true  ground,  that,  from  what  Lord  Grenville  had 
said  to  me,  I  expected  that  he  meant  the  visit  of  this  day  in 
order  to  present  me  at  the  Levee.  This  morning  just  after 
breakfast  Mr.  Bayard  came  in,  and  told  me  he  was  going  to 
call  on  Mr.  Hammond,  and  repeated  his  request  that  I  would 
introduce  him  to  Lord  Grenville.     I  then  told  him  explicitly 


I795-]  A   MISSION  TO    GREAT  BRITAIN.  j^y 

that  I  would  not  do  that  without  first  asking  that  Minister's 
consent.  He  then  said  that  Mr.  Jay  would  have  introduced 
him  ;  but,  upon  looking  into  his  authority  from  the  American 
Government,  he  thought  it  would  first  be  necessary  that  he 
should  write  over  for  a  regular  Commission  and  proper  papers. 
"  Now,  all  these,"  said  he,  "  I  have  received."  "  Have  you  re- 
ceived a  Commission  ?"  said  I.  "  No,  not  indeed  a  Commission," 
he  answered,  "  but  the  letters  from  the  officers  of  the  Govern- 
ment." I  thought  a  reply  to  this  unnecessary.  He  then  re- 
peated what  he  had  already  said  to  me  several  times,  that 
several  causes,  involving  very  important  points,  would  come 
immediately  before  the  Lords  Commissioners  of  Appeals,  and 
that  he  wished  the  Ministry  here  might  know  the  sense  of  the 
American  Government  upon  those  points,  and  particularly  that 
they  had  received  the  intelligence  of  the  decision  last  summer 
in  the  case  of  the  Betsey,  Captain  Furlong,  with  disappointment 
and  chagrin, — the  very  words  used,  he  said,  in  the  Secretary  of 
State's  Letter  to  him  on  the  subject.  I  told  him  that  at  his 
desire  I  would  introduce  the  subject  in  conversation  with  Lord 
Grenville,  if  I  could  with  any  propriety;  but  if  I  did,  it  must 
be  in  an  indirect  manner,  for  I  had  no  instructions  whatever  to 
warrant  me  in  doing  it,  and  any  ministerial  insinuation  hinting 
at  the  interference  of  Government  in  judicial  causes  was  an 
extremely  delicate  point.  "  Why,"  said  he,  "  they  say  here 
that  the  Government  does  influence  the  Courts  of  Admiralty; 
and  they  pretend  that  it  is  just  and  politic  that,  in  cases 
where  national  questions  are  to  be  determined,  the  Government 
should  influence  the  decisions  according  to  circumstances."  "  I 
know  not,"  said  I,  "  who  says  that,  but  in  the  printed  report, 
upon  the  subject  of  their  difference  with  the  late  King  of 
Prussia,  on  the  occasion  when  he  seized  the  Silesia  loan,  such 
an  influence  is  expressly  disclaimed  from  the  highest  authority, 
and  that  dispute  was  Of  exactly  the  same  nature  with  ours  at 
present,  and  refers  to  the  same  sort  of  Courts." 

It  appears  to  me  that  Bayard  means  to  throw  upon  my 
shoulders  the  odium  in  America  that  will  arise  from  decisions 
in  the  Court  of  Appeals  here,  contrary  to  our  wishes.  He  will 
perhaps  succeed.     But  I  must  confine  myself  to  the  perform- 


I43  MEMOIRS    OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.         [December, 

ance  of  my  duty,  and  be  prepared  for  any  thing  that  may  result 
from  it. 

Dr.  Romayne  came  and  invited  me  to  dine  with  him  this 
day.  Mr.  Copley  called,  and  I  had  some  interesting  conversa- 
tion with  him.  But  interesting  matter  crowds  upon  me  with 
such  accumulation,  that  I  must  limit  my  details  to  business 
relating  to  my  mission.  He,  too,  enquired  my  opinion  of  the 
Bills  pending  in  Parliament.  I  told  him  that,  situated  as  I  was, 
I  could  only  say  that,  [{such  a  remedy  be  necessary,  the  wound 
must  be  very  deep  indeed. 

Went  to  Lord  Grenville's  office  between  eleven  and  twelve. 
He  was  not  there,  nor  had  been  there  this  morning.  At  the 
same  instant  when  I  arrived  there,  Mr.  Deas  and  Mr.  Bayard 
alighted,  on  their  visit  to  Mr.  Hammond.  Their  carriage  imme- 
diately preceded  mine  at  the  door.  We  all  went  into  his  apart- 
ment together.  I  enquired  for  Lord  Grenville.  Was  told  he 
had  not  yet  come  in.  Hammond  asked  if  Sir  William  Scott 
was  not  to  meet  me  at  the  office.  Told  him  I.  understood 
from  Lord  Grenville  that  he  was.  Soon  after,  Bayard  said,  he 
rather  thought  Sir  William  Scott  would  not  be  there  this  day, 
for  he  knew  him  to  be  engaged  on  business  before  the  Lords 
Commissioners.  Deas  and  Bayard,  after  a  short  visit  and  no 
material  conversation,  went  away.  I  stayed  myself,  waiting  for 
Lord  Grenville,  until  one  o'clock,  but  had  no  conversation  with 
Hammond,  who  was  busy  writing,  and  gave  me  a  newspaper 
to  read.  At  length  somebody  came  in,  and  I  withdrew,  re- 
questing Mr.  Hammond,  as  soon  as  Lord  Grenville  should 
come  in,  to  let  me  know  whether  he  meant  to  see  me  this  day, 
and,  if  not,  at  what  other  time.  I  then  came  home,  and,  be- 
tween two  and  three,  received  a  card  from  Hammond,  informing 
me  that  Lord  Grenville  was  much  concerned  that  his  appoint- 
ment with  me  had  entirely  escaped  his  recollection ;  that  he 
would  see  me,  however,  on  Friday  at  twelve  o'clock,  with  Sir  W. 
Scott;  that  he  had  not  yet  had  an  opportunity  of  taking  the 
King's  pleasure  with  respect  to  my  presenting  my  credentials 
this  day,  and  that  therefore  that  ceremony  will  be  deferred 
until  this  day  week. 

This  escape  of  Lord  Grenville's  recollection  is  a  little  odd, 


1 795-]  A   MISSION   TO    GREAT  BRITAIN.  j^q 

under  all  the  circumstances.  The  excuse  thus  chosen  deserves 
some  attention.     But  patience  !  patience  ! 

3d.  Breakfasted  with  Dr.  Edwards,  and  conversed  with  him 
again  in  great  confidence.  I  hope  it  will  not  be  betrayed.  I 
believe  it  will  not.  I  am  sure  he  was  suspicious  of  me.  Whether 
his  suspicions  were  removed  or  not  I  cannot  say.  Time  will 
show.  He  is  sensible  and  judicious.  His  fears  that  Morris 
would  get  hold  of  me  are  very  gratuitous;  but  his  management 
to  guard  against  it  shows  considerable  skill  and  knowledge  of 
the  human  heart.  I  told  him  this  day  that  Morris  would  never 
have  one  tittle  of  my  confidence  relative  to  the  business  on 
which  I  am  now  here;  and  that  I  should  as  soon  think  of 
asking  the  advice  of  Mr.  Pitt  or  Lord  Grenville  upon  what  I 
may  do,  as  his. 

He  said  he  was  extremely  glad  to  hear  me  say  so,  and  then 
opened  upon  Morris's  character  without  mercy.  This  gradual 
progression  from  the  first  simple  innuendo  to  the  most  unlimited 
severity  has  been  tolerably  well  conducted;  and  if  the  final  object 
had  not  been  gained  even  before  he  first  began,  I  do  not  know 
but  it  could  have  been  obtained  by  this  negotiation.  Edwards 
has  given  me  some,  and  not  an  inconsiderable,  confidence  in 
return  ;  such,  indeed,  that  I  could  not  prudently  commit  it  to 
paper.  It  must  therefore  remain  upon  my  mind  only.  I  told 
him  that  he  would  oblige  me  by  retaining  on  his  memory,  as 
much  as  would  be  convenient,  all  the  conversation  that  passed 
between  Morris  and  myself  the  day  when  he  was  present,  which 
was  the  only  time  that  I  had  ever  seen  him.  He  said  he  would. 
His  great  fear  of  Morris's  influence  must  have  a  French  origin. 

4th.  Called  at  Lord  Grenville's  office  at  twelve  o'clock,  and 
had  a  conversation  with  him  of  almost  three  hours'  length. 
My  letters  to  the  Secretary  of  State  will  contain  the  details. 

Inasmuch  as  the  letter  here  referred  to  appears  to  furnish 
the  first  indication  of  Mr.  Adams's  aptitude  for  the  collisions  of 
diplomatic  life,  it  seems  not  inappropriate  to  place  the  substance 
of  it  in  this  immediate  connection.  The  persons  mentioned 
here  with  whom  he  had  to  deal  are  too  well  known  in  history 
to  need  much  explanation.    Mr.  Pitt,  at  this  time  prime  minister, 


!C0  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.         [December, 

having  discovered  that  Lord  Chancellor  Thurlow,  whom  he  had 
selected  as  the  chief  support  of  his  policy  in  the  House  of 
Lords,  was  not  to  be  relied  upon,  had  been  compelled  to  look 
for  a  substitute  whom  he  could  more  fully  trust.  It  was 
essential  that  this  person  should  be  fully  able  to  cope  with 
the  great  influence  which  Lord  Thurlow  had  acquired  in  that 
body.  Failing  to  find  him  among  the  existing  peers,  he  de- 
termined upon  the  transfer  of  the  youngest  of  the  Grenvilles, 
the  Secretary  for  Foreign  Affairs,  then  a  member  of  the  Com- 
mons, to  the  upper  house,  under  the  title  of  Lord  Grenville,  by 
which  he  is  well  known  in  later  history.  It  was  with  this 
nobleman  that  Mr.  Adams  held  the  conversation  reported  in 
this  letter.  The  Advocate-General  here  referred  to,  then  Sir 
William  Scott,  has  since  gained  greater  fame  as  the  eminent 
judge,  Lord  Stowell. 

J.  Q.  Adams  to  the  Secretary  of  State. 

•  London,  December  5,  1795. 

Sir: — 

I  saw  yesterday  Lord  Grenville  at  his  office,  and  had  a 
lengthy  conversation  with  him  upon  subjects  connected  with  the 
object  of  my  mission  here,  and  upon  those  concerning  which 
your  instructions  had  previously  been  executed  by  Mr.  Deas. 

I  found  Sir  William  Scott,  the  Advocate  General,  with  him. 
The  point  first  discussed  was  that  concerning  the  cases  proposed 
to  be  settled  by  compromise.  This  matter  being,  however,  still 
unsettled,  I  shall  reserve  for  a  separate  letter  an  account  of 
whatever  relates  to  it. 

The  Advocate  General  having  withdrawn,  the  compensation 
to  the  Commissioners  was  mentioned,  and  I  told  his  Lordship 
that  upon  further  reflection  I  had  been  confirmed  in  the  opinion 
that  my  authority  from  the  American  Government  would  not 
permit  me  to  make  any  discrimination  in  the  pay  of  the  several 
members  of  the  same  commission.     *     *     * 

I  then  observed  there  was  a  subject  concerning  which  I  had 
no  instructions,  nor  indeed  any  communication,  from  the 
Government  of  the  United  States,  but  concerning  which  I  had 
reason  to  believe  the  sensations  in  America  were  so  strong-  that 


1 795-1  A   MISSION  TO    GREAT  BRITAIN.  j  5  r 

I  felt  myself  in  duty  bound  to  suggest  them,  as  indeed  I  had 
been  required  to  do  by  the  agent  of  American  claims,  who  had 
received  the  sentiments  of  our  Government  on  the  subject. 
That  I  understood  there  were  several  cases  now  pending  before 
the  Lords  Commissioners  of  Appeals  which  involved  in  their 
decision  certain  points  of  national  concern,  upon  which  I  should 
be  happy  to  have  some  conversation  with  him,  and  that  a 
decision  had  taken  place  during  the  course  of  the  last  summer 
which  I  believed,  when  made  known  in  America,  had  occasioned 
disappointment  and  chagrin;  that  the  ground  upon  which  I 
had  understood  the  condemnation  had  taken  place,  was  the 
transient  residence  of  one  of  the  parties  in  the  island  of  Guada- 
loupe ;  that  there  were  indeed  other  incidental  points,  which  I 
had  been,  however,  informed  had  been  given  up  or  not  insisted 
on  upon  the  appeal,  but  that  on  the  facts  of  the  case  as  they 
were  known  to  the  American  Government,  there  was  no  legal 
principle  upon  which  they  conceived  that  property  liable  to 
condemnation;  that  upon  the  occasion  of  the  trial  of  that  case, 
one  point  had  arisen,  upon  which,  if  I  was  rightly  informed,  one 
of  the  Lords  Commissioners  had  observed  that  some  under- 
standing between  the  two  countries  might  be  advisable,  and 
that  my  own  wish  to  prevent  the  irritation  that  must  be  oc- 
casioned by  decisions  so  unfavorable  to  the  interests,  and  so 
adverse  to  the  opinions,  of  my  country,  induced  me  to  desire 
every  possible  occasion  to  discuss  the  points  upon  which  a 
difference  of  opinion  between  the  two  nations  might  subsist. 

He  said  that  he  would  cheerfully  enter  upon  any  such  dis- 
cussion ;  that  the  Government  of  the  country  never  interfered 
in  judicial  proceedings  to  influence  the  decision  ;  but  that  there 
might  be  agreements  upon  such  or  such  principle  of  the  law 
of  Nations,  which  agreements  would  be  considered  as  rules  to 
guide  the  decrees. 

Several  of  these  points  upon  which  interesting  questions  now 
depend  were  mentioned,  but  not  much  dwelt  upon.  I  thought 
it  sufficient  at  this  time  to  introduce  the  subject,  which  may  be 
a  very  extensive  one,  and  which  is  wholly  disconnected  with 
any  instructions  I  have  hitherto  received. 

I  then  came  to  points  upon  which  I  had  been  honored  with 


152 


MEMOIRS    OF  JOHN   QUINCY  ADAMS.         [December, 


your  orders,  and  said  that  the  instructions  of  the  American 
Government  relative  to  the  further  matter  which  I  should  submit 
to  his  consideration,  having  been  executed  already  by  Mr.  Deas, 
it  was  perhaps  less  necessary  for  me  to  enter  largely  upon  the 
business  than  it  might  otherwise  have  been;  but  that  as  these 
concerns  had  now  devolved  upon  me,  I  thought  it  essential  to 
the  discharge  of  my  duty  to  notice  what  had  been  specially 
recommended  to  my  attention.  That  the  President  of  the 
United  States  had  been  informed  of  numerous  captures  having 
been  made,  during  the  course  of  the  last  summer,  of  American 
vessels  laden  with  provisions,  in  consequence  of  an  Order  said 
to  have  been  issued  under  his  Majesty's  authority,  and  I  was 
directed  to  enquire  into  the  existence  of  such  an  Order.  He 
said  that  he  would  direct  Mr.  Hammond  in  the  course  of  a 
very  few  days  to  send  me  a  copy  of  that  Order ;  that  a  copy  of 
it  had  been  sent,  to  be  communicated  to  the  American  Gov- 
ernment in  America  with  suitable  explanations,  but  that  the 
manner  in  which  Mr.  Deas  had  thought  proper  to  execute  his 
instructions  was  such  that  he  (Lord  Grenville)  chose  to  have 
no  communication  with  him  on  the  subject.  He  then  added 
that  the  Treaty  admitted  by  implication  that  there  are  cases  in 
which  provisions  and  other  articles  not  generally  contraband 
may  become  so,  and  stipulated  that  until  the  two  countries 
should  agree  on  this  subject  their  respective  conduct  towards 
each  other  shall  be  regulated  by  the  existing  law  of  Nations ; 
that  he  believed  there  was  not  a  single  writer  upon  the  law  of 
Nations  who  did  not  lay  down  the  principle  that  provisions 
may  become  contraband,  and  that  the  known  passage  of  Vattel, 
a  modern  and  judicious  writer,  who  upon  the  subject  of  National 
Law  had  taken  the  indulgent  side,  and  might  be  considered  as 
a  protestant  of  political  doctrines,  expressly  stated  that  provisions 
may  be  liable  to  capture  with  indemnity,  when  the  distress  of 
the  enemy  is  such  for  the  want  of  them  that  it  becomes  a  mean 
of  reducing  them,  or  of  procuring  an  advantageous  peace; 
that,  besides,  it  is  equally  clear,  that  vessels  may  be  detained 
upon  suspicion  of  their  having  on  board  property  belonging  to 
the  enemy  of  the  captor,  by  the  Treaty  and  by  the  existing  law 
of  Nations.     Now,  the  Order  only  directs  a  capture  when  both 


1 795-]  A   MISSION  TO    GREAT  BRITAIN.  ^3 

the  circumstances  concur  ;  that  is,  when  the  vessels  are  laden 
with  provisions  and  when  there  is  any  suspicion  of  enemy's 
property.  It  does  not  therefore  go  to  the  extent  that  it  might 
without  any  violation  of  right. 

"  With  respect  to  the  Treaty,"  said  I,  "my  instructions  ex- 
pressly command  me  to  say  that  its  ratification  must  not  be 
construed  into  an  admission  of  the  legality  of  the  Order.  As  to 
the  principle  stated  by  your  Lordship  as  being  laid  down  by 
Vattel,  it  could  not  be  applicable  in  the  present  case,  even  if 
admitted,  unless  there  were  also  an  admission  of  fact.  That 
is,  that  his  Majesty's  enemies  were  so  distressed  for  want  of 
provisions,  that  they  were  susceptible  of  being  reduced  by  the 
capture  of  neutral  vessels  carrying  provisions  to  them.  This 
point  I  do  not  wish  to  discuss  with  you.  As  to  the  suspicion 
of  having  enemy's  property  on  board,  even  supposing  that 
could  justify  detention,  it  could  justify  nothing  more,  and  in 
this  case  there  is  much  more.  There  is  taking  property  from 
its  owners  against  their  will,  and  giving  them  a  supposed  in- 
demnity equally  without  their  will." 

"  But,"  said  he,  "  it  is  customary  in  the  Courts  of  Admiralty, 
whenever  articles  perishable  in  their  nature  must  be  endangered 
by  the  detention  necessary  until  the  determination  of  the  cause 
for  which  they  were  taken,  to  sell  the  articles  under  a  decree  of 
the  Court,  and  pay  the  proceeds  to  the  party."  "  Even  that,"  said 
I,  "differs  essentially  from  taking  a  man's  property,  and  paying 
him  according  to  your  own  estimation.  A  sale  is  attended  with 
competition,  and,  where  an  article  is  in  demand,  will  produce  a 
price."  "  I  believe,"  said  he,  "  it  is  very  well  understood  that  the 
payments  for  the  provisions  that  have  been  brought  in  were 
more  advantageous  to  the  merchants  than  a  sale  would  have 
been."  I  thought  it  unnecessary  to  urge  this  point  any  further. 
The  answer  to  the  last  observation  is  very  obvious,  but  it  had 
run  aside  from  the  position  of  a  right  to  detain  on  suspicion, 
or  any  consequence  deducible  from  it. 

As  the  principle  of  this  Order  (I  resumed)  is  not  admitted 
by  the  American  Government,  considerations  of  its  peculiar 
inconvenience  to  the  United  States  and  their  citizens  form  but 
a  secondary  ground  of  objection.     Provisions  are  among  the 


154 


MEMOIRS    OF  JOHN   QUINCY  ADAMS.        [December, 


most  valuable  articles  of  our  export  trade.  They  are  indeed 
more  valuable,  proportionally  speaking,  to  us  than  to  any  other 
commercial  nation.  A  restraint  therefore  upon  the  freedom  of 
this  trade  by  external  power  has  a  more  extensive  operation 
upon  our  interests  than  upon  those  of  any  others,  and  it  has 
the  appearance  of  being  specially  pointed  against  us.  For 
however  general  the  expressions  in  which  the  Order  is  couched 
may  be,  as  comprehending  all  neutral  nations,  yet  if,  in  the 
nature  of  things,  it  can  operate  only  against  one,  it  must  be 
understood  to  have  had  an  application  only  to  that  nation. 
Besides  this,  if  my  information  be  accurate,  the  same  rule  of 
indemnity  has  in  the  cases  of  the  late  captures  been  allowed 
to  the  neutral  proprietors  of  all  the  several  nations.  Now,  the 
same  per  centum  upon  a  cargo  coming  from  Hamburg  might 
afford  a  very  handsome  profit,  and  coming  from  Philadelphia 
would  give  scarcely  any  at  all ;  as  in  estimating  the  rate  of  profit 
on  any  given  capital,  the  time  during  which  it  is  employed 
forms  an  essential  ingredient.  A  vessel  from  Hamburg  to 
France  might  perform  ten  or  a  dozen  voyages  to  and  fro  in 
the  course  of  a  year.  From  America  the  average  would  not 
amount  to  more  than  two.  The  same  rule,  therefore,  produces 
very  different  effects  upon  circumstances  which  Nature  has 
made  so  different.  These  observations  are  made  not  as  admit- 
ting that  any  indemnity  whatever  could  obtain  our  assent  to  the 
legality  of  captures,  but  in  order  to  show  the  character  of  the 
Order  itself,  by  the  partial  and  unequal  effects  that  it  necessarily 
produces. 

He  said  that  it  would  be  shown,  by  the  accounts  of  the  sums 
paid  or  to  be  paid  by  this  Government  for  those  provisions,  that 
the  American  vessels  brought  in  amounted  to  quite  a  small 
proportion  of  the  whole ;  that  the  Order  had  in  fact  operated 
much  more  upon  the  nations  up  the  Baltic  than  upon  the 
United  States,  and  that  it  was  really  intended  that  it  should ; 
that  he  would  direct  that  the  amount  of  the  accounts  should 
be  shown  me;  and  as  to  the  rates  of  indemnity,  he  appeared  in 
some  measure  to  admit  the  reason  of  the  observation  I  had 
made,  but  said  that  it  was  qualified  by  the  circumstance  of  the 
great  difference  in  the  freights. 


1 795.]  A   MISSION  TO    GREAT  BRITAIN.  155 

The  next  particular  of  your  instructions  to  which  I  adverted, 
was  the  stipulation  in  the  second  article  of  the  Treaty,  for  the 
delivery  of  the  posts,  and  the  previous  measures  provided  to 
be  taken  to  effect  the  evacuation.  I  told  him  I  was  ordered  to 
urge  for  the  immediate  performance  of  that  engagement.  He 
said  that  the  orders  had  been  made  for  the  purpose,  and  he 
believed  they  had  been  sent  out.  "  But,"  said  he,  "  it  cannot  be 
surprising  if,  upon  seeing  in  what  manner  the  Treaty  has  been 
received  in  America,  and  the  opposition  which  it  has  met  and 
still  meets  there,  we  should  think  it  necessary  to  be  upon  our 
guard.  If,  upon  the  meeting  of  Congress,  a  difficulty  should 
be  raised  and  prevail  against  passing  the  laws  which  may  be 
necessary  to  give  effect  to  certain  Articles  of  the  Treaty,  it  can- 
not be  expected  that  we  should  be  willing  to  perform  on  our 
side  without  performance  on  the  other."  I  then  replied  that  I 
could  not  undertake  to  say  beforehand  what  the  Congress  of 
the  United  States  in  any  instance  would  think  proper  to  do. 
But  I  had  not  the  smallest  doubt,  and  I  believed  this  Govern- 
ment had  no  reason  to  doubt,  but  that  the  United  States  would 
faithfully  perform  all  their  engagements.  That  with  respect  to 
the  opposition  advanced  against  the  Treaty,  its  appearance,  I 
had  reason  to  believe  from  good  authority,  was  more  formi- 
dable than  its  reality ;  that  it  was  the  nature  of  opposition  to 
any  public  measure  in  that  country  to  be  bold,  open,  public, 
industrious,  and  active ;  that  it  was  even  more  so  there  than 
elsewhere,  and  arose  from  the  principle  of  liberty,  upon  which 
the  Government  was  founded ;  that,  upon  an  occasion  of  such 
universal  interest  as  that  Treaty,  opposition  was  very  natural, 
and  its  ordinary  character  might  derive  from  the  importance  of 
the  subject  an  unusual  degree  of  apparent  energy,  and  it  would 
show  itself  in  its  utmost  extent,  which  was  further  magnified  by 
a  view  of  it  at  this  distance.  He  said  he  could  readily  believe 
it,  and  that  the  force  of  the  observation  upon  the  character  of 
opposition  would  be  understood  and  acknowledged  with  pecu- 
liar conviction  by  Englishmen. 

I  then  added,  "  I  am  thoroughly  convinced  that  the  en- 
gagements of  the  American  Government  will  be  punctually  dis- 
charged, and  I  hope  most  sincerely  that  if  on  either  side  of  the 


£1-6  MEMOIRS    OF   JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.        [December, 

water  there  are  persons  really  desirous  to  revive  the  causes 
of  former  differences,  or  to  generate  occasions  for  new  ones, 
persons  who  wish  to  accumulate  irritations,  which  the  inter- 
est of  both  nations  would  entirely  remove,  and  to  instigate  a 
failure  on  their  own  side  as  a  provocation  to  the  other,  their 
views  may  be  entirely  frustrated."  He  then  repeated  that 
he  believed  the  orders  for  the  evacuation  of  the  posts  had  been 
sent  out. 

After  saying  thus  much  upon  the  matters  relating  to  the 
Treaty,  I  observed  that  there  were  two  new  aggressions,  on 
the  part  of  officers  in  his  Majesty's  service,  which  it  was  my 
duty  to  recall  to  his  Lordship's  recollection.  A  memorial  on 
the  subject  had  been  presented  by  Mr.  Deas,  and  he  had  sent 
the  document  by  which  the  facts  were  substantiated.  It 
remained  only  for  me  to  repeat  the  demand  of  reparation  for 
what  was  considered  by  the  American  Government  as  an  out- 
rageous violation  of  their  territorial  jurisdiction,  and  as  being 
highly  aggravated  by  an  attack  upon  a  foreign  Minister  entitled 
to  all  the  protection  which  the  laws  of  Nations  could  give  to 
such  a  character.  That  the  instance  was  indeed  of  such  a 
complexion  that  the  President  had  thought  proper  to  revoke 
the  exequatur  of  Mr.  Moore,  his  Majesty's  Vice  Consul  at 
Rhode  Island,  who  appeared  to  have  co-operated  in  the  offence 
to  such  a  degree  as  made  it  proper  for  the  American  Govern- 
ment to  do  itself  justice  as  far  as  concerned  him. 

He  said  that  immediately  upon  receiving  information  of  the 
charge  against  Captain  Home,  an  order  had  been  issued  by  the 
Lords  of  the  Admiralty  to  him  for  the  purpose  of  hearing  what 
he  should  have  to  say  in  his  justification ;  that  he  could  assure 
me  no  officer  in  his  Majesty's  service  would  ever  be  counte- 
nanced in  such  acts  as  the  violation  of  a  friendly  nation's  terri- 
torial rights,  aggravated  by  an  injury  to  the  privileged  character 
of  a  foreign  Minister.  He  mentioned  this  the  rather,  because, 
although  no  representations  on  the  affair  had  yet  been  received 
from  Captain  Home  himself,  he  had  reason  to  suppose,  from 
other  statements  which  he  had  seen,  that  the  violation  of  terri- 
tory would  be  denied  by  the  Captain,  who  would  maintain  that 
the  transaction  took  place  at  such  a  distance  from  the  American 


1 795-]  A   MISSION  TO    GREAT  BRITAIN.  ^y 

coast  as  took  it  altogether  out  of  the  territorial  jurisdiction  of 
the  United  States.  I  told  him  that  the  determination  of  this 
Government,  or  the  evidence  upon  which  they  might  found  it, 
was  not  a  subject  for  my  consideration.  I  should  only  remark, 
from  a  personal  knowledge  of  the  place  where  the  event 
occurred,  and  of  the  points  from  and  to  which  the  packet  was 
going,  that  the  pretence  that  the  fact  happened  upon  the  high 
seas  out  of  our  jurisdiction,  if  raised,  would,  in  my  opinion,  be 
disproved  by  the  simple  local  relation  of  the  places. 

"  With  respect  to  the  case  of  Mr.  Moore,"  said  Lord  Gren- 
ville,  "  that  is  a  little  different.  An  express  stipulation  of  the 
Treaty  gives  each  of  the  two  Governments  the  right  of  dismiss- 
ing the  consuls  of  the  other  for  such  reasons  as  itself  thinks 
proper.  Whether  the  reason  be  good  or  bad,  it  is  the  mere 
exercise  of  a  right  reserved,  upon  which  the  other  Government 
has  nothing  to  say.  So  that  the  President,  if  he  pleased,  might 
dismiss  a  man  because  he  took  a  dislike  to  his  face,  and  we  should 
have  no  right  to  object  against  it.  I  have,  therefore,  taken  his 
Majesty's  pleasure  for  appointing  a  person  in  the  place  of  Mr. 
Moore,  and  it  is  a  matter  upon  which  no  question  can  arise. 
But  if,  to  go  any  further,  my  opinion  is  asked  in  this  case,  I  can 
have  no  hesitation  in  saying  that  I  think  Mr.  Moore  has  been 
a  little  hastily  dealt  with.  That  the  mere  circumstance  of  his 
sending  a  letter  from  Captain  Home  to  the  Governor  of  Rhode 
Island  did  not  merit  such  pointed  severity.  For,  however 
offensive  the  letter  might  be,  he  sent  it  at  the  express  requi- 
sition of  Captain  Home,  which  he  could  not  refuse,  Captain 
Home  being  in  his  Majesty's  service  an  officer  so  vastly  supe- 
rior in  rank  to  himself." 

"My  orders  were,"  said  I,  "to  explain  the  reasons  upon 
which  this  act  of  the  President  was  grounded,  and  to  observe 
that  it  was  not  only  because  Mr.  Moore  sent  the  insulting  letter 
to  the  Governor  of  Rhode  Island,  but  because  his  presence  on 
board  the  Africa,  at  the  time  when  the  other  outrage  was  com- 
mitted, gave  strong  ground  for  suspicion  that  he  was  accessory 
to  that.  These  reasons  were  deemed  sufficient  by  the  President. 
He  trusts  they  will  be  so  by  this  Government.  And  you  may 
be  assured  that  no  trivial  cause,  nor  any  such  reason  as  the 


!  58  MEMOIRS   OF   JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.         [December, 

President's  taking  a  dislike  to  a  mail  s  face,  would  induce  him  to 
the  removal  of  any  one." 

"  No,  no,"  said  he,  "  I  was  not  speaking  officially,  and  only 
meant,  in  giving  you  my  opinion,  to  put  an  extreme  case  to 
show  my  idea  of  the  principle. 

"Respecting  the  other  case,  the  same  orders  have  been  issued 
from  the  Admiralty,  to  the  Captain  of  the  Hermione,  in  order 
to  know  what  he  can  say  for  his  justification." 

"  I  am  directed  on  this  occasion,"  said  I,  "  to  urge  that  more 
pointed  orders  may  be  given,  to  prevent  the  repetition  of  this 
evil.  It  is  a  great  evil,  and  is  continually  recurring.  I  may  add 
that  it  is  of  a  nature  extremely  calculated  to  produce  irritation 
and  resentment.  It  couples  insult  with  injury  in  a  manner 
which  naturally  makes  not  only  the  sufferers,  but  numbers  of 
their  fellow  citizens,  think  it  intolerable.  The  Government  of 
the  United  States,  for  these  reasons,  wish  that  some  equitable 
agreement  on  the  subject  may  put  an  end  to  complaints  to 
which  they  cannot  be  inattentive." 

He  said  they  were  very  willing  to  make  such  an  agreement 
as  might  result  from  a  fair  and  candid  discussion  of  the  subject. 
That  he  had  already  had,  when  Mr.  Jay  was  here,  much  con- 
versation with  him  upon  it,  and  that  it  was  then  understood  to 
be  one  of  the  points  reserved  for  future  consideration.  The 
question  involved  in  it  was  on  both  sides  difficult.  For  in- 
stance, if  a  sailor  belonging  to  one  of  the  King's  ships  stationed 
on  the  American  coast,  should  desert  and  run  away  from  his 
ship,  it  could  not  be  supposed  that  he  thereby  changed  his 
allegiance  or  acquired  a  right  to  the  protection  of  the  United 
States  as  an  American  citizen.  On  the  other  hand,  all  those 
who,  before  the  war,  were  inhabitants  of  America,  and  had 
continued  to  be  so,  wherever  born,  were  doubtless  to  be  con- 
sidered as  American  citizens  and  entitled  to  protection.  That 
between  these  two  extreme  points  there  was  great  variety  of 
gradations,  and  it  must  be  a  delicate  thing  on  both  sides  to  fix 
the  line  of  demarcation ;  that  in  the  particular  instance  of  the 
settlers,  &c,  within  the  posts  to  be  evacuated,  the  Treaty  had 
ascertained  the  proceedings  whereby  every  individual  might 
make  and  declare  his  election,  and  he  should  cheerfully  attend 


1795]  A   MISSION   TO    GREAT  BRITAIN.  ^g 

to  any  observations  that  might  occur  to  me  on  the  view  of  the 
subject  as  a  general  question. 

In  the  relation  that  is  now  before  you,  Sir,  it  has  been  en- 
deavored to  give  you  the  substance  of  every  thing  that  was  said 
on  either  side,  and  a  verbal  accuracy  has  been  preserved  as  far 
as  it  could  be  retained  in  memory. 

The  proposal  for  discriminating  between  the  Commissioners 
in  the  article  of  compensation  left  me  only  the  alternative  of 
consenting  to  the  highest  sums  or  creating  a  further  delay  of 
four  or  five  months.  It  was  doubtless  made  with  that  inten- 
tion, and  affords  a  specimen  of  the  style  of  negotiation  which 
it  may  be  expected  will  be  pursued.  That  delay,  at  least  as  to 
the  performance  of  their  engagements,  is  a  real  object  which 
this  Government  have  in  view,  may  be  collected  from  various 
concurring  circumstances.  As  to  the  evacuation  of  the  posts, 
it  will  be  observed  that  the  intention  of  making  that  depend 
upon  what  shall  be  done  by  Congress  at  their  meeting  respect- 
ing the  Treaty  was  clearly  avowed,  and  although  a  belief  was 
professed  that  the  orders  were  already  sent  out,  yet  it  is  evi- 
dent from  the  whole  that  was  said  on  that  head,  taken  to- 
gether, either  that  no  such  orders  have  been  sent,  or  that  they 
are  made  conditional,  to  be  executed  or  not  according  to  cir- 
cumstances. This  belief  of  the  principal  Secretary  of  State, 
upon  such  a  point  as  the  present,  is  itself  a  ground  of  suspicion 
that  his  creed  is  not  in  this  respect  entirely  conformable  to  his 
knowledge.  Mr.  Deas  was  at  first  expressly  told  that  the 
orders  were  sent  out.  I  was  told  the  same  thing  by  Mr.  Ham- 
mond the  first  time  of  my  seeing  him  here;  and  now,  my 
Lord  Grenville  only  believes  them  gone. 

The  attempt  at  argument  in  support  of  the  Order  for  taking 
vessels  laden  with  provisions  will  be  appreciated  by  the  Presi- 
dent at  its  proper  value.  It  was  such  as  made  it  unnecessary 
to  contest  the  principles :  a  mere  denial  of  their  application 
sufficed.  The  indifference  and  readiness  with  which  such  rea- 
sons are  advanced  may  serve  to  show  the  degree  of  stress  which 
is  laid  upon  the  reason  of  their  conduct,  and  what  proportion 
it  bears  to  their  conviction  that  it  must  in  truth  rest  upon  their 
sense  of  poiver. 


t6o  MEMOIRS    OF  JOHN   QUINCY  ADAMS.         [December, 

This  Order  has  been  revoked,  and  will  not  be  revived  so  long 
as  the  costs  of  their  captures  will  evidently  amount  higher  than 
their  value  to  the  captors.  This  circumstance  supplied  the 
principal  or  only  motive  for  its  removal ;  and  when  it  shall  no 
longer  exist,  the  expectation  that  any  consideration  of  justice, 
humanity,  or  neutral  rights  will  prevent  its  revival  for  so  much 
as  an  hour,  would  be  as  little  warranted  by  present  probability 
as  by  past  experience. 

In  the  case  of  Captain  Home's  violence  and  outrage,  it  seems 
that  a  pretence  for  bearing  him  out  is  assumed  already,  before 
any  species  of  defence  has  been  received  from  himself;  and  as 
to  that  of  Mr.  Moore,  the  words  underscored  in  the  above  re- 
lation were  expressly  used.  The  disposition  of  mind  which 
they  discover  shall  remain  without  comment  from  me,  and  I 
shall  only  permit  myself  to  add,  that  by  repeating  distinctly 
some  of  those  words,  it  was  meant  to  show  that  they  had  not 
passed  unnoticed,  and  that  by  saying  no  further,  sensations 
were  suppressed  which,  if  indulged,  would  have  retorted  scorn 
for  scorn. 

That  Mr.  Moore  had  thought  himself  bound  in  duty  to  send 
to  the  Governor  of  Rhode  Island  copy  of  a  letter  he  had  re- 
ceived, insolent  and  insulting  to  the  Governor,  because  the  writer 
of  the  letter  had  requested  him  so  to  do,  had  indeed  been  advanced 
by  Mr.  Moore  himself;  but  the  reason  assigned  by  Lord  Gren- 
ville,  as  proving  that  such  was  his  duty,  belongs  entirely  to 
him.  It  is  that  Captain  Home  was  superior  in  rank  to  the 
Vice  Consul :  a  reason  to  justify  vicarious  insolence,  which, 
however  consonant  to  the  practice  of  this  country,  will  be 
considered  as  more  than  disputable  in  the  United  States. 

In  this  conversation  it  will  perhaps  appear  that  the  objection 
against  Mr.  Deas  for  the  manner  in  which  he  has  expressed  the 
sentiments  of  the  American  Government  did  not  come  with 
much  weight  from  a  person  using  such  language  on  his  side. 
Mr.  Deas  is  doubtless  equal  to  his  own  justification,  and  if  the 
language  of  his  memorial  was  warm,  it  was  such  as  the  occa- 
sion naturally  suggested. 

With  respect  to  the  pressing  of  seamen,  it  will  be  observed 
in  the  newspapers  that  notice  issued  yesterday  from  the  Admi- 


I795-]  A   MISSION   TO    GREAT  BRITAIN.  I6I 

ralty  office,  that  directions  have  been  given  not  to  press  any 
more  men  regularly  protected.  Whether  these  directions  will 
meet  with  proper  execution,  time  alone  will  unfold. 

I  am  in  hopes  of  Mr.  Pinckney's  return  within  a  few  days; 
by  Christmas  at  latest.  I  expect  it  with  anxiety,  being  ardently 
desirous  to  resign  into  his  hands  a  task  to  which  I  must  take 
the  liberty  of  observing  that  I  am  altogether  inadequate ;  and 
a  trust  the  extensive  importance  of  which  could  not  be  fully 
perceived  at  the  time  when  my  orders  to  repair  hither  were 
transmitted. 

From  the  foregoing  account  an  opinion  may  be  formed  how 
far  the  relative  situation  of  the  United  States  and  this  country 
is  still  critical;  and  it  would  not  become  me  to  suggest  what 
measures  the  interests  and  the  security  of  the  former  may  ren- 
der advisable.  That  the  disposition  here  is  candid,  harmonious, 
or  sincere  may  be  believed,  if  the  amplest  professions  are  to  be 
admitted  for  substantial  proof. 

5th.  Attended,  by  invitation,  the  dinner  given  by  the  mer- 
chants trading  to  North  America  to  Mr.  Hammond.  They 
call  it  a  superb  entertainment,  as  indeed  it  was.  But  many 
circumstances  attending  it  were  far  from  being  pleasant,  and 
the  sort  of  applause  bestowed  upon  every  sentiment  like 
Britain's  maritime  control  was  far  from  discovering  a  spirit  of 
conciliation. 

8th.  Received  this  morning  a  card  from  Lord  Grenville,  in- 
forming me  that  I  am  to  have  to-morrow,  after  the  Levee,  the 
audience  I  solicited  of  the  King.  This  card  was  addressed  to 
me  as  Minister  Plenipotentiary  from  the  United  States  of 
America.  This  circumstance  struck  me  as  singular,  consider- 
ing that  I  have  no  sort  of  pretension  to  that  character.  Dined 
with  Mr.  Hammond,  and  mentioned  to  him  the  mistake,  pre- 
suming he  would  take  proper  notice  of  it. 

9th.  Received  this  morning  from  Mr.  Cottrell,  Assistant 
Master  of  the  Ceremonies,  a  card  addressed  again  to  me  as 
Minister  Plenipotentiary,  &c,  and  informing  me  he  would  come 
to  me  at  one  o'clock,  to  conduct  me  to  the  Levee,  and  express- 
ing his  regret  that  he  had  not  heard  before  of  my  arrival. 

VOL.  1. — II 


!62  MEMOIRS   OF   JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.         [December, 

This  looked  so  much  like  a  formal  design  of  construing  me 
into  a  Minister  Plenipotentiary  that  I  thought  it  necessary  to 
guard  against  it,  and  immediately  wrote  a  card  to  Lord  Gren- 
ville,  informing  him  that  I  have  not  the  character  of  Minister 
Plenipotentiary,  that  my  Letter  to  the  King  styles  me  Minister 
Resident  of  the  United  States  at  the  Hague,  and  that  if  this 
circumstance  precludes  me,  by  the  forms  and  usages  of  this 
Court,  from  an  audience  to  deliver  the  Letter,  I  wish  to  be  noti- 
fied of  it,  as  I  cannot  admit  that  I  am  vested  with  the  character 
of  a  Minister  Plenipotentiary.  Received  an  answer  saying  that 
a  credential  as  Minister  Resident  entitled  me  to  deliver  my 
credentials ;  and  although  this  note  was  not  explicit,  I  con- 
ceived the  fair  warning  I  had  given  as  sufficient  to  prevent 
any  future  improper  conclusions;  and  when  Mr.  Cottrell  came, 
accompanied  him  to  the  Levee.  He  again  expressed  his  regret 
that  he  had  not  before  heard  of  my  arrival.  I  told  him  I  should 
have  notified  it  to  him  but  for  the  informal  character  in  which 
I  was  placed  here.  He  had  all  the  forms  of  courtly  civility 
about  him,  of  course.  At  the  Levee  he  introduced  me  to  the 
Duke  of  Portland,  to  Mr.  Dundas,  to  the  Marquis  of  Salis- 
bury, the  Earl  of  Mansfield,  whom  he  called  Lord  Stormont,  to 
the  Minister  of  the  Elector  Palatine,  &c. 

After  the  Levee  was  over  I  was  introduced  into  the  private 
closet  of  the  King  by  Lord  Grenville,  and,  presenting  my  cre- 
dential Letter,  said,  "  Sir,  to  testify  to  your  Majesty  the  sin- 
cerity of  the  United  States  of  America  in  their  negotiations, 
their  President  has  directed  me  to  take  the  necessary  measures 
connected  with  the  Ratifications  of  the  Treaty  of  Amity,  Com- 
merce, and  Navigation  concluded  between  your  Majesty  and 
the  United  States.  He  has  authorized  me  to  deliver  to  your 
Majesty  this  Letter,  and  I  ask  your  Majesty's  permission  to 
add,  on  their  part,  the  assurance  of  the  sincerity  of  their  inten- 
tions." He  then  said,  "To  give  you  my  answer,  Sir,  I  am  very 
happy  to  have  the  assurances  of  their  sincerity,  for  without 
that,  you  know,  there  would  be  no  such  thing  as  dealings 
among  men."  He  afterwards  asked  to  which  of  the  States  I 
belonged,  and  on  my  answering,  Massachusetts,  he  turned  to 
Lord  Grenville  and  said,  "All  the  Adamses  belong  to  Massa- 


I795-]  A   MISSION  TO    GREAT  BRITAIN.  Y^ 

chusetts?"  To  which  Lord  Grenville  answered,  they  did.  He 
enquired  whether  my  father  was  now  Governor  of  Massachu- 
setts. I  answered,  "  No,  Sir ;  he  is  Vice  President  of  the  United 
States."  "Ay,"  said  he,  "  and  he  cannot  hold  both  offices  at  the 
same  time?"  "  No,  Sir."  He  asked  where  my  father  is  now. 
"At  Philadelphia,  Sir,  I  presume,  the  Congress  being  now  in 
session."  "  When  do  they  meet  ?"  "  The  first  week  in  Decem- 
ber, Sir."  "And  where  did  you  come  from  last?"  "From 
Holland,  Sir."  "You  have  been  employed  there?"  "Yes, 
Sir,  about  a  year."  "  Have  you  been  employed  before,  and 
anywhere  else  ?"     "  No,  Sir." 

I  then  withdrew.  Mr.  Cottrell  invited  me  to  go  and  witness 
the  ceremony  of  an  address  presented  by  the  Bishop  and 
Clergy  of  London,  which  was  received  upon  the  throne.  The 
Bishop  read  his  address,  to  which  a  very  gracious  answer  was 
returned,  and  they  all  kissed  his  hand,  kneeling  to  obtain  that 
honor.  As  I  was  coming  from  the  Palace,  with  Mr.  Cottrell, 
he  called  for  the  American  Minister's  servants,  and  said  that  he 
had  spoken  to  Lord  Grenville,  who  said  that,  in  the  Gazette 
which  would  mention  my  audience,  I  might  be  styled  Minister 
Resident,  but  without  saying  whether  it  was  to  be  added,  to 
this  Government,  or  not.  Determined  to  see  Hammond  on 
this  matter.  Resolved  on  the  same  account  not  to  go  to  the 
House  of  Commons  this  evening  to  hear  the  debates.  Ham- 
mond has  intimated  to  me  that  I  should  have  a  place  under 
the  galleries,  as  one  of  the  foreign  Ministers;  and  as  they  seem 
to  make  a  point  of  it,  I  am  determined  to  assume  no  privilege 
that  shall  imply  any  thing  like  an  assent  on  my  part  to  the 
principle. 

ioth.  Writing  all  the  morning.  Dined  at  Mr.  Bayard's  with 
considerable  company.  I  told  Mr.  Deas  the  circumstance  of 
the  manner  in  which  Lord  Grenville  and  Hammond  had  spoken 
of  him  to  me.  I  thought  it  my  duty  to  do  so,  especially  as  I 
had  related  to  the  Secretary  of  State  what  Lord  Grenville  said. 
Deas  was  of  course  very  angry  with  them,  but  thanked  me  for 
my  information.  I  know  not  whether  Deas  treats  me  exactly 
right,  or  means  me  well,  but  he  shall  have  no  cause  to  com- 
plain of  my  treatment  to  him. 


1 64  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.        [December, 

nth.  Mr.  Deas  breakfasted  with  me.  He  said  that  what  I 
had  told  him  yesterday  made  him  think  it  necessary  for  him  to 
notice  a  circumstance  that  had  occurred  to  him  the  day  before, 
when  he  had  been  to  hear  the  debates  in  the  House  of  Com- 
mons. On  his  first  attempting  to  go  in  under  the  gallery,  as 
usual,  the  Serjeant-at-arms  told  him  he  did  not  know  whether 
he  should  let  him  in,  as  he  had  received  a  note  from  the  Secre- 
tary of  State's  office,  informing  him  that  another  Minister  from 
America  had  arrived ;  that,  however,  after  some  further  ex- 
planations, he  admitted  him ;  that  on  going  into  the  House 
he  found  Hammond  there,  and  suspected  him  of  having  given 
the  hint  to  the  Serjeant-at-arms.  He  had  now  determined  to 
take  notice  of  the  thing,  and  meant  to  write  to  Lord  Grenville 
on  the  subject. 

It  looks  so  much  like  a  plan  to  force  upon  me  the  character 
of  a  Minister  at  this  Court  that  it  gives  me  a  real  alarm.  Went, 
as  I  had  determined,  to  see  Mr.  Hammond ;  told  him  it  was 
necessary  there  should  be  no  misunderstanding  between  us  on 
this  article;  that  I  have  not  the  character  of  a  Minister  to  this 
Court,  and  could  not  have.  I  had  only  the  orders  and  instruc- 
tions of  the  American  Government  to  execute  upon  certain 
points.  To  enable  me  to  obviate  a  scruple  of  form,  a  creden- 
tial Letter  to  the  King  had  been  sent  me,  special  in  its  nature, 
and  designating  me  under  my  real  character.  "  If  this  be  not 
sufficient,"  said  I,  "let  us  stop  here, — no  harm  is  done.  But  the 
thing  with  us  is  Constitutional ;  and  were  I  to  assume  the  char- 
acter of  a  Minister  at  this  Court,  and  act  under  it,  I  should  not 
only  be  impeachable  for  it,  but  it  would  be  deceiving  you  not  to 
tell  you  that  the  United  States  would  be  bound  by  none  of  my 
acts."  Hammond  had  just  received  Deas's  letter  to  Lord  Gren- 
ville on  the  affair  that  had  happened  to  him  in  the  House  of 
Commons.  It  had  put  him  quite  in  a  rage.  "  I  know  what 
made  you  come  here,"  said  he  ;  "  one  William  Allen  Deas." 
"  No,  indeed,"  said  I,  "you  are  mistaken.  That  is  by  no  means 
the  occasion  of  my  coming."  "  Well,"  said  he,  "  this  matter 
shall  be  arranged,  so  that  you  may  be  sure  no  blame  shall  fall 
on  you  or  the  American  Government."  "  That  is  not  the 
thing,"  said  I.     "  My  only  wish  is  that  neither  the  American 


1795]  A    MISSION  TO    GREAT  BRITAIN.  i6§ 

Government  nor  I  should  be  misunderstood.  If  there  be  a 
difference  of  opinion  which  must  prevent  me  from  acting  in 
this  case,  let  us  wait.  Mr.  Pinckney  will  be  here  in  a  few  days, 
and  it  will  be  better  to  stay  for  his  arrival  than  make  a  ques- 
tion between  the  two  Governments."  Hammond  first  asked  me 
to  state  my  ideas  in  writing ;  then  abandoned  that  proposal,  and 
asked  me  to  call  again  at  four  o'clock,  which  I  did.  He  had 
got  his  paragraph  for  the  Gazette,  and  had  altered  it  from  what 
he  had  first  made  it,  in  which  it  was  said  I  had  presented  to  his 
Majesty  a  credential  Letter  as  Minister  Resident  from  the  United 
States.  He  tried  it  now  in  various  shapes,  and  asked  for  my 
approbation  of  it,  saying  that  the  Gazette  was  a  sort  of  record 
of  these  things.  "  Well,"  said  I,  "  in  that  case  I  cannot  make 
myself  responsible  for  any  thing  you  may  choose  to  put  in  it. 
As  it  is  under  your  control,  you  will  say  what  you  think 
proper.  I  am  responsible  for  my  conduct  as  it  relates  to  my 
own  country."  He  appeared  anxious  and  embarrassed,  and  at 
length  said  the  Letter  was,  to  be  sure,  completely  informal. 
They  should  have  discovered  that  before.  He  at  length  made 
out  his  paragraph  in  a  manner  to  which  I  saw  no  objection, 
and  asked  if  he  should  mention  to  Lord  Grenville  that  he  had 
shown  it  to  me.  I  told  him  if  he  pleased,  but  he  must  not 
understand  that  I  meant  to  make  myself  answerable  for  any 
consequence  that  might  be  drawn  from  it. 

17th.  Went  with  Mr.  Cottrell  to  the  Drawing  Room.  Pre- 
sented to  the  Queen  as  Minister  Resident  of  the  United  States 
of  America  at  the  Hague.  Asked  me  how  long  I  had  been  in 
Holland,  and  whether  I  was  any  relation  to  the  Mr.  Adams 
that  was  here  some  years  ago.  The  King  asked  me  whether 
our  winters  were  not  more  severe  than  they  are  here. 

28th.  Frazier  breakfasted  with  me;  after  which  we  went  to 
see  the  Shakespear  Gallery  of  Paintings.  I  was  very  highly 
gratified  during  three  or  four  hours  that  we  spent  in  looking 
them  over.  There  is,  indeed,  a  mixture  of  good  and  of  indif- 
ferent things,  but  there  was  only  one  really  disgusting  to  me. 
It  was  a  scene  in  the  Midsummer  Night's  Dream.  Instead 
of  the  fine  frenzy  of  the  Poet,  it  gave  nothing  but  a  combina- 
tion of  madness  and  idiotism ;   instead  of  the  sportive  excur- 


j66  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.        [December. 

sions  of  a  sublime  imagination,  nothing  but  the  darkling  errors 
of  a  sick  man's  dreams.  Among  the  paintings  that  struck  me 
as  the  works  of  most  special  excellence  were,  a  Death  of  Car- 
dinal Beaufort,  by  Reynolds;  an  Ophelia  Mad,  by  West;  a 
Cassandra,  by  Ranney ;  a  Hubert  and  Arthur,  by  Northcote ; 
and  some  others.  But  one  of  the  most  pleasing  reflections  on 
this  occasion  arises  from  the  idea  of  such  a  combination  of 
talents  and  wealth  concurring  to  pay  their  tribute  to  the  greatest 
genius  of  their  country.  Extreme  refinement  in  the  arts  and 
sciences  is  said  to  be  connected  with  extreme  civilization,  and 
therefore  with  corruption.  I  would  fain  believe  they  are  not 
necessarily  connected ;  for,  indeed,  I  cannot  remove  from  my 
heart  an  enthusiastic  fondness  for  the  former,  and  I  have  a 
rooted  and  deliberate  detestation  of  the  latter.  In  knowing, 
in  understanding,  in  admiring  the  works  of  transcendent  genius, 
as  far  as  is  practicable  to  every  individual  respectively,  consists 
one  part  of  human  duty;  and  in  indulging  the  feelings  of 
gratitude  towards  those  who  have  contributed  to  relieve  us 
from  the  burdens  of  life  there  is  the  double  pleasure  that  arises 
from  the  consciousness  of  rewarding  merit  with  fame,  and  dis- 
charging our  own  obligations  at  the  same  time. 

3 1  st.  Covent  Garden.  Comedy  of  Errors — Antipholuses,  Hol- 
man  and  Pope;  Dromios,  Munden  and  Quick.  Was  pleased 
with  the  performance.  Contrary  to  the  common  experience  of 
Shakespear's  Plays,  this  appears  better  on  the  stage  than  in  the 
book.  Holman  is  a  much  better  actor,  too,  in  Comedy  than  in 
Tragedy.  Munden  and  Quick  have  both  great  comic  powers. 
The  play  is  acted  much  as  it  is  printed.  Some  scenes  border- 
ing on  indecency  are  indeed  left  out,  and,  as  the  play  is  very 
short,  additions  have  been  introduced  to  the  dialogue.  The 
characters  are  all  preserved,  even  the  mountebank  Pinch.  The 
effect  of  his  figure,  however,  is  lost,  as  the  description  of  him 
by  Antipholus  is  omitted.  The  Farce  was  Merry  Sherwood,  or 
Harlequin  Forester,  a  new  Operatic  Pantomime,  as  splendid 
in  pageantry,  and  as  stupid  in  substance,  as  any  thing  I  have 
seen.  Townsend,  one  of  the  performers,  while  he  was  singing 
a  song,  as  a  begging  impostor,  had  a  pebble  or  a  nut  thrown  at 
him,  that  hit  him  in  the  face.     He  addressed  the  audience  upon 


1 796.]  A   MISSION  TO    GREAT  BRITAIN.  jfy 

it  in  a  very  decent  manner.'  Said  the  practice  had  been  repeated 
several  times,  and  might,  if  it  did  not  cease,  finally  reduce  him 
to  real  beggary.  He  was  very  much  applauded;  for  these 
people  are  by  no  means  destitute  of  Playhouse  sensibility. 

Here  closes  the  year, — a  period  when  I  am  in  the  habit  of 
indulging  reflection,  as  it  naturally  brings  to  mind  upon  its 
frequent  returns  the  variations  of  human  life;  and  as  it  always 
makes  me  desirous  to  repair  by  the  future  the  deficiencies  of 
the  past. 

January  13th,  1796.  Attended  the  Levee.  Saw  Mr.  Morris 
there.  Heard  of  Mr.  Pinckney's  arrival.  Mr.  Hammond  at  the 
Levee  too.  The  King  did  not  speak  to  me.  My  reception  at 
Court  this  day  contrasted  completely  with  those  on  former  oc- 
casions, when  I  was  to  be  cajoled  into  compliance.  I  valued  it 
much  more  highly;  it  flattered  my  pride  as  much  as  the  former 
fawning  malice  humbled  it. 

14th.  Morning  papers  say  that  I  took  leave  of  the  King  at 
the  Levee  yesterday,  introduced  by  Lord  Grenville,  and  that  I 
am  upon  my  return  home.  I  suppose  it  is  meant  as  a  hint  to 
me  to  go  away.  I  can  certainly  henceforth  do  no  good  here. 
But  I  cannot  well  go  without  receiving  further  orders  from 
home. 

The  writer  did  not  receive  permission  to  return  to  the  Hague 
until  the  26th  of  April,  and  he  remained  in  London  until  the 
28th  of  May.  This  delay  was  partly  occasioned  by  an  attrac- 
tion in  the  family  of  Mr.  Joshua  Johnson,  then  Consul  of  the 
United  States  in  London,  and  who  had  been  more  or  less  em- 
ployed in  Europe  from  the  breaking  out  of  the  Revolution. 
The  result  was  a  betrothal  between  himself  and  Louisa  Cath- 
erine, the  second  daughter  of  Mr.  Johnson.  He  arrived  at  the 
Hague  on  the  5th  of  June,  having  had  a  trip  much  more 
favorable  than  that  experienced  the  other  way.  The  only 
difficulty  was  in  the  start,  the  account  of  which  is  retained,  as 
a  mark  of  the  sluggish  official  habits  of  the  time. 

May  27th.  Continuing  preparations  for  my  departure.  At 
about  four  p.m.  received  word  from  the  Captain  that  he  should 


!68  MEMOIRS    OF   JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [June, 

sail  to-morrow  morning  at  five  o'clock  ;  that  the  wind  is  perfectly 
fair,  and  if  it  continues  so  he  will  be  at  Gravesend  by  noon, 
ready  to  proceed  from  thence.  This  intelligence  precipitates 
me  so  as  to  make  several  arrangements  I  had  proposed  quite 
impracticable.  Went  immediately  to  the  Duke  of  Portland's 
office  to  procure  an  order  to  permit  my  embarkation.  Was 
obliged  to  return  a  second  time,  and  then  informed  I  could  not 
have  the  order  till  ten  or  eleven  to-morrow  morning.  Very 
anxious  lest,  after  all  my  disappointments,  I  should  lose  the 
opportunity  of  returning  to  Holland. 

28th.  Up  at  six,  and  from  that  time  till  twelve  obliged  to 
crowd  the  business  of  several  days  into  so  short  a  space.  I  had 
received  yesterday  evening  two  successive  letters  informing  me 
that  I  must  be  at  Gravesend  by  noon,  and  afterwards  by  ten  or 
eleven  at  latest.  It  was  impossible  to  go  without  the  order  to 
allow  me  to  embark,  which  could  not  be  procured  till  within 
five  minutes  before  twelve.  I  determined,  therefore,  to  lose  not 
one  minute  of  unnecessary  time,  and  to  run  the  risk  which  I  could 
not  prevent.  At  the  Duke  of  Portland's  office  myself  by  ten. 
Nobody  there.  Sent  Whitcomb  again  just  before  twelve,  and  at 
length  procured  the  necessary  order.  Stepped,  without  the  loss 
of  a  minute,  into  a  post  chaise,  and  just  at  four,  afternoon,  ar- 
rived at  Gravesend,  twenty-five  miles  from  Osborne's  Adelphi 
Hotel.  The  Verwagtend  Fortuyn,  Captain  Heinke  Garmers,the 
vessel  in  which  I  had  engaged  my  passage,  after  waiting  for  me 
three  or  four  hours,  had  just  got  under  way  with  a  fine  fresh 
breeze.  The  custom-house  officers  and  the  inspector,  upon 
observing  in  my  passport  my  official  character,  were  very  civil 
in  accommodating  and  facilitating  my  departure.  I  took  a  boat 
immediately  to  follow  the  vessel,  and  after  some  contrivance  of 
the  boatmen  to  practise  an  imposition  to  increase  their  fare,  in 
which  as  usual  they  succeeded,  I  reached  the  vessel  about  six 
miles  below  Gravesend,  between  five  and  six  o'clock. 

The  Hague,  June  6th. — Dined  with  M.  d'Araujo.  Bielfeld, 
Levsen,  a  Physician  whose  name  I  knew  not,  Mr.  Manoel,  a 
Portuguese  gentleman  of  a  singular  character,  and  my  brother, 
were  of  the  company.  We  talked  something  of  literature,  a 
subject  in  which   M.  d'Araujo  delights.     He  says  the  Dauphin 


1796.]  A   MISSION   TO    GREAT  BRITAIN.  rfg 

editions  of  the  Classics  are  contemptible.  The  Dictys  Cre- 
tensis  only  is  in  some  estimation  because  it  is  the  only  hand- 
some edition  of  that  author  that  has  ever  been  published. 
Delille's  French  translation  of  the  Georgics  is  the  only  good 
French  poetical  translation  extant.  The  Eclogues  by  Gresset 
are  very  indifferent.  The  Italian  translation  of  Virgil,  by 
Hannibal  Caro,  is  not  equal  to  its  reputation,  nor  equal  to  Dry- 
den's.  He  prefers  even  a  Portuguese  translation,  though  in 
stanzas.  D'Araujo  writes  Portuguese  verses  himself,  and  has 
recently  translated  Gray's  famous  Elegy  and  Pope's  Messiah 
into  that  language.  Mr.  Manoel  was  compelled  to  fly  from  the 
fangs  of  the  Inquisition  for  having  translated  Voltaire's  Pucelle 
d'Orleans.  He  is  now  translating  Silius  Italicus.  After  dinner 
we  compared  the  President  Henault's  translation  of  the  ex- 
ordium of  Lucretius  with  the  original ;  it  has  merit,  but  very 
weak  lines.  He  showed  us  his  Ariosto,  edition  of  Baskerville; 
the  plates  of  Bartolozzi  are  very  fine.  Walk  with  Bielfeld. 
When  I  came  home  I  looked  over  Dryden's  translation  of  the 
first  verses  of  Lucretius.     Rather  loosely  done. 

'15th.  Earlier  rising.  A  morning  hour  devoted  to  studious 
reading.  Finished  my  letter  to  the  Secretary  of  State.  Walk 
in  the  wood.  Met  Bielfeld  and  my  brother.  Bielfeld  has  a 
great  deal  of  acquired  understanding,  but  not  a  very  brilliant 
natural  genius.  His  feelings  lead  him  to  democratic  senti- 
ments, but  his  judgment  very  often  corrects  their  propensities. 
Finished  reading  Pope's  translation  of  the  Odyssey,  in  pursuit 
of  the  plan  which  I  undertook  in  the  midst  of  my  English  idle- 
ness, and  have  hitherto  persevered  in  since  my  return,  though 
much  less  inclined  to  censure  myself  on  that  score  at  present. 
I  have  not  yet  become  perfectly  studious  and  busy  according 
to  my  wishes,  but  I  am  gradually  verging  towards  it;  and  if  I 
did  not  know  my  weakness  I  should  anticipate  a  better  account 
of  my  customary  day  at  the  commencement  of  the  ensuing 
month,  than  I  have  hitherto  been  able  to  give  since  I  adopted 
this  species  of  self-admonition.  But  wait  and  see.  This  after- 
noon a  Mr.  Rene  Pillet  called  on  me.  Said  he  was  formerly 
an  Aid-de-Camp  to  M.  de  la  Fayette,  now  a  naturalized  Ameri- 
can Citizen.     Was  going  last  week  from  England  to  Hamburg 


iy0  MEMOIRS   OF   JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [June, 

in  the  British  Packet,  and  taken  by  a  French  Frigate,  sent  to 
Flushing,  plundered  of  his  baggage,  sent  to  Ghent  and  Ant- 
werp, detained  there  as  suspected,  and  at  length  ordered  to 
depart  within  forty-eight  hours.  He  had  a  bill  of  ^"200  sterling 
on  Hamburg  (a  second),  and  finding  himself  short  of  money  to 
proceed  on  his  voyage,  wanted  to  have  twenty  pounds  sterling 
discounted  upon  his  bill.  He  had  a  passport  from  Mr.  Pinck- 
ney,  and  letters  very  recommendatory  from  Major  Jackson  and 
Mrs.  Bingham.  Sent  to  enquire  of  Messrs.  Moliere  whether 
they  would  discount  the  money.  They  refused;  but  let  him 
have  240  florins  upon  my  order  on  the  bankers  at  Amsterdam, 
which  he  engages  to  repay  at  Hamburg.  Perhaps  an  imprudence. 
But  he  has  no  appearance  of  being  an  impostor,  and  is  in  a 
situation  which  requires  assistance.  He  is  further  going  to 
labor  in  behalf  of  M.  de  la  Fayette — a  cause  which  I  would 
promote  by  all  the  means  in  my  power.  Wrote  by  him  an 
answer  to  the  letter  of  Madame  de  la  Fayette  which  Mr.  Lally 
delivered  me  in  the  winter. 

30th.  Day.  On  my  return  from  England  I  determined  to 
resume  a  life  of  application  to  business  and  study,  which,  during 
the  principal  part  of  my  residence  there,  I  found  altogether  im- 
possible. It  has  not  yet  settled  into  a  course  perfectly  regular, 
but  it  is  hitherto  equal  to  my  expectations.  Rise  and  dress  at 
six.  Read  works  of  instruction  from  thence  till  nine.  Break- 
fast. Read  the  papers  and  translate  from  the  Dutch  till  eleven 
or  twelve.  Then  dress  for  the  day.  Write  letters  or  attend  to 
other  business  that  occurs  till  between  two  and  three.  Walk  till 
half-past  three.  Dine  and  sit  till  five.  Read  works  of  amuse- 
ment till  between  eight  and  nine.  Walk  again  about  an  hour. 
Then  take  a  very  slight  supper  and  my  segar,  and  retire  to  bed 
at  eleven.  The  variations  from  this  course  are  not  considerable. 
Those  that  have  taken  place  as  yet  are  marked  in  the  diary.  I 
have,  as  before  mentioned,  now  devoted  an  hour  a  day  to  the 
study  of  Italian,  which  Bielfeld  and  I  are  learning  together. 
Too  much  of  this  time  is  devoted  to  reading,  and  too  little  to 
society.  But  I  was  not  formed  to  shine  in  company,  nor  to  be 
delighted  with  it ;  and  I  have  now  a  considerable  lapse  of  time 
to  repair.     While  in  London  by  far  too  large  a  portion  of  my 


1796]  A   MISSION  TO    GREAT  BRITAIN.  lyl 

time  was  spent  in  it.  I  hope  and  intend  at  a  future  time  to  take 
some  of  my  present  reading  hours  for  the  purpose  of  writing. 
I  wish  no  other  change. 

In  my  morning  reading  I  have  gone  through  Smith's  Wealth 
of  Nations,  and  commenced  Luzac's  Richesse  de  la  Hollande. 
I  have  never  had  the  advantage  of  systematic  reading  in  its 
perfection,  because  I  was  never  taught  a  system.  To  form  one 
for  myself  has  been  the  subject  of  my  frequent  meditations,  but 
I  have  never  satisfied  myself  as  to  the  detail.  My  studies  are 
indeed  all  directed  to  one  point,  which  is  pointed  out  to  me  by 
the  station  that  I  hold.  The  ultimate  object  of  all  reading  must 
be  the  improvement  of  the  mind.  But  how  to  compass  the 
greatest  quantum  of  improvement  in  a  given  portion  of  time 
and  study,  is  a  problem  that  I  have  not  yet  solved,  and  of 
which  I  still  seek  the  solution.  My  afternoon  reading  has  been 
one  hour  of  epic  verse  in  English,  which  has  carried  me 
through  Pope's  Homer  and  Dryden's  ^Eneid.  I  have  now 
begun  upon  that  of  Pitt.  The  Memoires  Secrets  et  Critiques 
des  Cours  d'ltalie  of  Gorani  I  read  in  consequence  of  their 
reputation,  and  because  I  wanted  information  relative  to  the 
present  state  of  that  country.  They  have  accordingly  furnished 
me  with  new  materials  for  knowledge;  but  the  book  is  super- 
ficial and  dull,  full  of  commonplace  political  folly  and  personal 
scandal.  Such  books  cost  only  the  trouble  of  writing  them. 
The  author  thinks  himself  a  profound  legislator,  while  he  is 
only  a  coxcomb  and  a  pedant.  The  Life  of  Dumouriez  is  of 
quite  a  different  description.  The  book  is  as  entertaining  as 
the  principles  of  the  author  are  depraved.  I  mean  to  speak  of 
him  again. 

July  5th.  Called  this  morning  to  see  Mr.  Van  Leyden,  the 
Secretary  of  the  Committee  of  Foreign  Affairs,  to  enquire  of  him 
in  what  manner  official  papers  are  to  be  addressed  under  the 
present  Government.  He  said  they  might  be  addressed  to  the 
President  of  the  Assembly,  who,  as  such,  is  also  President  of 
the  Committee,  and  would  lay  the  application  before  the  one  or 
the  other  according  as  the  subject  should  render  it  proper. 
Told  him  my  object  was  to  obtain  answers  to  two  memorials 
heretofore  presented  to  the  States  General.     Upon  that  respect- 


iy2  MEMOIRS    OF   JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [July, 

ing  the  Wilmington  Packet,  he  said  he  had  no  information.  As 
to  that  concerning  the  appointment  of  Consuls,  he  recollected 
that  the  memorial  was  taken  ad  referendum  by  the  States  of 
Holland.  That  he  remembered  an  observation  at  the  time 
was  made  by  some  of  the  members,  that  the  Colonies  could 
not  be  considered  as  a  constituent  part  of  the  Republic,  and  the 
article  of  the  Treaty  did  not,  therefore,  apply  to  them.  But  he 
did  not  know  whether  this  would  be  the  answer.  Mentioned 
his  having  seen  me  yesterday  in  the  gallery  of  the  Assembly. 
Spoke  of  a  report  made  some  days  ago  by  the  Representative 
Lublin  upon  the  subject  of  separating  the  affairs  of  the  Church 
from  those  of  the  State.  The  reporter  is  a  man  of  literary 
reputation,  and  has  translated  Young's  Night  Thoughts  into 
Dutch.  Van  Leyden  is  a  mild,  pleasant,  modest  man.  Such 
men  are  much  more  comfortable  to  treat  with,  but  very  often 
not  more  easy,  than  harsher  characters.  Was  to  have  taken  a 
lesson  of  Italian  at  Bielfeld's  lodgings,  but  he  has  just  changed 
and  I  could  not  find  him  out.  As  I  was  going  out,  met  Mr. 
Du  Roure,  who  was  coming  to  see  me.  He  called  on  me  this 
afternoon  to  enquire  whether  the  Government  of  the  United 
States  had  taken  any  official  steps  in  behalf  of  Mr.  de  la  Fay- 
ette. Told  him  that,  not  having  had  any  communications  from 
the  Government  on  the  subject,  I  could  not  say. 

6th.  Went  this  morning  and  presented  a  note  to  the  President 
of  the  National  Assembly  (Hartogh).  Met  in  the  antechamber 
an  old  acquaintance,  Mr.  Van  Lynden,  who  is  now  Minister 
from  this  Republic  to  the  Court  of  Denmark.  Accosted  him, 
and  mentioned  my  having  formerly  known  him.  But  he  did 
not  remember  me.  Enquired,  however,  after  my  father.  They 
were  diplomatic  brethren  at  London,  from  whence  Van  Lynden 
was  dismissed  after  the  Revolution  of  1787,  and  has  had  a 
political  resurrection  since  the  last  revolution.  When  I  deliv- 
ered my  note  to  the  President,  he  told  me  that  I  should  have 
an  answer  as  soon  as  possible.  Was  received  with  great  and 
formal  civility. 

1  ith.  I  enter  this  day  upon  my  thirtieth  year.  The  periodical 
days  of  reflection  are  seldom  satisfactory  to  me.  The  principal 
reproach  my  conscience  can  make  me,  for  the  last  year,  is  too 


1796.]  A   MISSION  TO    GREAT  BRITAIN.  ly^ 

much  time  spent  in  relaxation,  perhaps  lost.  Let  me  strive  to 
make  a  better  improvement  of  the  next.  My  apology  for  the 
past  must  be  the  state  of  my  health.  Though  insufficient,  it  is 
the  best  I  have.  The  irresistible  dissipation  of  London  is  none. 
The  weakness  of  the  heart  is  only  a  plea  for  mercy — much 
more  might  have  been  done  by  me.  Of  positive  wrongs  I  feel 
very  clear  during  the  last  year.  None  of  its  predecessors  for  a 
long  time  have  been  so  innocent.  Yet  none  of  them  have  been 
more  exposed  to  temptation.  Finished  reading  the  Memoirs 
of  Dumouriez  this  afternoon,  and  read  some  pages  in  those  of 
Garat.  The  great  characteristic  trait  of  Dumouriez  is  ambitious 
vanity.  It  is  the  common  feature  of  almost  every  eminent 
political  character  which  the  French  Revolution  has  produced. 
There  appears  about  him  great  ability  in  the  military  line,  a  great 
facility  at  repartee  and  address  in  conversation,  but  miserable 
ignorance  and  folly  upon  the  subject  of  government.  His  style 
is  rapid,  but  not  precise ;  his  manner  of  relating  attractive  in  the 
highest  degree,  but  with  a  coloring  to  his  own  advantage,  for 
which  allowances  are  to  be  made.  He  professes  a  great  love 
for  his  country,  and  a  strong  sense  of  humanity;  but  in  both 
cases  it  is  evidently  the  result  of  a  sentiment,  and  not  of  a 
principle.  He  loves  his  country  because  the  people  at  times 
show  attachment  to  him  ;  he  detests  proscriptions  because  he 
was  proscribed  ;  and  indeed  if  you  look  through  his  book  for  a 
moral  principle  as  the  guide  of  his  actions,  you  will  find  abun- 
dant proof  that  he  had  none.  His  first  ambition  is  to  be  a 
monk  ;  and,  six  months  after,  he  is  willing  to  be  anything  on 
earth  but  a  monk.  He  attempts  a  suicide  in  the  rage  of  a 
momentary  obstacle  in  his  love,  and  repents  just  in  time  to  save 
his  life.  He  offers  to  save  the  Genoese  against  Corsica,  and  the 
Corsicans  against  Genoa.  He  forms  a  plan  to  conquer  Corsica 
by  the  breach  of  a  Treaty,  and  quarrels  with  the  Minister  who 
refuses  to  execute  this  plan.  He  declares  his  aversion  upon 
principle  to  duelling,  in  relating  an  attempt  to  force  a  man  to 
fight  a  duel  with  him,  which  was  prevented  only  by  the  base 
submission  of  his  antagonist.  He  relates  everything  that  hap- 
pened to  him  at  the  Bastille,  and  adds  that  on  coming  out  of 
it  he  had  a  formal  oath  administered  to  him  never  to  reveal 


lj^  MEMOIRS    OF  JOHN   QUINCY  ADAMS.  [July, 

anything  that  he  had  witnessed  there ;  while  to  show  that  it  is 
not  inconsistency  with  which  he  is  chargeable,  he  tells  us  that 
he  considered  the  oath  as  a  mere  formality,  binding  him  to 
nothing.  He  affects  a  regard  for  La  Fayette,  for  Roland,  and 
for  several  others,  whom  at  the  same  time  he  endeavors,  by 
every  part  of  his  narration  concerning  them,  to  ruin  in  reputa- 
tion. In  short,  there  is  scarce  a  page  of  his  book  but  proves  a 
deficiency  of  principle,  and  an  overruling  vanity,  in  a  mind  very 
vigorous  and  active. 

19th.  Finished  reading  Rowe's  translation  of  the  Pharsalia. 
Dr.  Johnson  says  it. is  not  esteemed  so  much  as  it  is  worth,  and 
it  will  please  more  the  better  it  is  known.  I  have  never  read 
it  before,  and  have  been  gratified  in  the  perusal.  I  have  occa- 
sionally compared  it  with  the  original,  and  find  that  the  trans- 
lation has  added  near  an  hundred  lines  at  the  end  of  the  tenth 
book  to  close  the  action.  It  is  not  an  epic  poem.  Nor  is  it  a 
fair  criticism  to  compare  it  with  the  ^Eneid.  It  has  certainly 
much  more  originality,  and  the  characters  are  much  more 
striking  than  those  of  Virgil.  The  sentiment  and  language 
are  sometimes  turgid,  and  sometimes  sublime.  There  is  not 
much  diversity  of  incident;  but,  after  Homer,  who  can  under- 
take to  invent?  Virgil  generally  copies,  but  what  Lucan  gives 
is  all  his  own.  He  has  more  sentiment  and  philosophy  than  is 
usual  in  poems  of  such  length  ;  much  more  than  Homer  in 
the  Odyssey.  But  his  great  delight  seems  to  be  the  description 
of  things  terrible.  The  cutting  down  of  the  sacred  wood;  the 
troops  in  a  vessel  of  Caesar's  party,  who  by  consent  destroy 
one  another  to  avoid  falling  into  the  hands  of  the  enemy;  the 
scene  of  Caesar  embarking  in  the  night  in  a  small  barque,  and 
the  storm  that  he  weathers  in  it;  the  sorceress  Erichtho  and  her 
incantations ;  the  battle  of  Pharsalia,  the  death  of  Pompey,  and 
the  march  of  Cato  through  the  Thessalian  deserts,  with  the 
various  venomous  reptiles  that  infest  his  army,  are  all  full  of 
horror;  but  many  of  them  are  disgusting.  The  author  appears 
to  have  wanted  taste  to  select  his  incidents  of  description.  The 
imagination  revolts  from  many  of  them,  though  all  are  striking. 
The  Gods  are  treated  very  cavalierly.  In  the  very  outset  he 
charges  them  with  taking  the  wrong  side  in  opposition  to  Cato. 


1796]  A   MISSION  TO    GREAT  BRITAIN.  ij$ 

He  afterwards  says  they  never  take  offence  at  any  crimes  but 
those  of  the  unfortunate,  and  he  more  than  once  apostrophizes 
their  injustice  in  suffering  the  crimes  and  success  of  Caesar. 
The  heroes  are  painted  larger  than  life.  The  daring  ambition 
of  Caesar,  the  inflexible  stoicism  of  Cato,  and  the  declining 
greatness  of  Pompey,  are  well  contrasted.  The  Egyptian  char- 
acters are  not  so  well  drawn.  Photinus  is  too  barefaced  a 
villain.  His  policy  might  have  been  attributed  to  him  without 
a  departure  from  nature ;  but  he  should  have  been  made  more 
plausible.  On  the  whole,  my  opinion  not  only  of  the  translator 
but  of  the  author  has  been  raised  by  this  perusal.  The  address  to 
Nero  is  more  extravagant,  but  not  more  fulsome,  than  that  of 
Virgil  to  Augustus,  and  must  have  been  more  excusable  at  the 
time  when  it  was  doubtless  written,  that  is,  in  the  golden  years 
of  his  reign.  This  is  very  evident  from  the  complexion  of  the 
whole  poem  ;  for  certainly  Lucan  would  not  have  ventured  to 
publish  the  bold  sentiments  of  liberty  that  prevail  in  every  part 
of  it,  during  the  tyrannical  part  of  the  monster's  government. 
It  is  very  probable,  however,  that  they  cost  the  author  his  life; 
though  a  mere  rivalship  for  poetical  fame  is  only  mentioned 
by  the  historians  as  the  cause  from  whence  originated  the  con- 
spiracy in  which  Lucan  joined,  and  for  which  he  suffered. 

20th.  Began  to  read  the  translation  of  Ovid's  Metamorphoses, 
as  published  by  Garth.  The  first  book  is  by  Dryden.  He 
calls  the  palace  of  the  Gods  the  Louvre  of  the  sky,  and  tells  of 
Phaeton's  going  to  the  Leve  of  his  father  Phcebus ;  as  Rowe  in 
one  of  Cato's  speeches  makes  him  tell  the  soldiers  they  are  fit 
only  to  pass  as  heirlooms  from  Pompey  to  Caesar.  Such  ex- 
pressions remind  me  of  Antony's  present  to  Cleopatra  of  a 
tompion  gold  watch,  in  Swift.  These  Metamorphoses  cannot 
well  be  included  in  my  original  plan  of  reading  Epic  Poets ; 
but  the  variation  will  not  be  important,  and  may  serve  to  afford 
the  relaxation  of  variety.  Began,  too,  this  morning  to  read 
Tasso's  Jerusalem  in  the  original ;  but  I  shall  make  very  slow 
progress  in  that. 

31st.  Weather  very  warm  and  feverish.  It  dissipates  the 
animal  spirits  so  as  to  take  away  the  power  of  application. 
Buffon  was  of  opinion  that  genius   might   be   resolved   into 


!^6  MEMOIRS    OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [July, 

patience.  If  his  idea  be  just,  I  have  very  little  genius  in  warm 
weather;  especially  in  the  sultry  warmth  of  the  Dutch  atmos- 
phere. Began  this  morning  upon  Kerroux,  Abrege  de  l'Histoire 
de  la  Hollande ;  but  read  only  a  very  few  pages  in  it.  Walk  in 
the  Voorhout  in  the  evening.  Met  Bielfeld,  with  a  German 
autlior,  and  Mr.  Levsen.  Walked  some  time  with  the  latter. 
I  had  enquired  of  him  whether  any  application  had  been  made 
by  the  friends  of  M.  la  Fayette  to  the  Danish  Court,  to  request 
its  interference  to  obtain  his  liberation.  He  then  told  me  he 
believed  not.  This  evening  he  told  me  he  had  written  to  the 
Count  de  Bernstorff  on  the  subject,  and  could  now  answer  me 
for  certain  that  they  had  not.  He  could  further  add  that  La 
Fayette  was  now  detained  by  the  Emperor  as  a  prisoner  of  the 
King  of  Prussia,  and  was  kept  under  a  promise  made  to  him ; 
that  the  emigrants  were  at  the  bottom,  and  his  liberty  could 
probably  be  obtained  only  by  application  from  the  King  of 
Prussia,  who  would  make  it  whenever  the  Frencli  Government 
may  desire  it ;  but  that  no  other  application  would  probably 
be  successful.  This  short  conversation  of  Levsen  suggests 
many  reflections  to  me,  and  will  deserve  further  meditation. 

The  reading  of  the  month  has  carried  me  through  Luzac's 
Richesse  de  la  Hollande,  and  the  Traite  General  de  Commerce ; 
the  latter  as  mentioned  on  the  day  when  I  finished  it ;  the 
Life  of  Dumouriez,  Garat's  Memoirs,  and  Pratt's  Gleanings. 
Of  all  these  books  I  have  made  mention,  and  some  slight  obser- 
vations at  the  time  of  finishing,  and  also  of  Pitt's  translation 
of  the  ^Eneid,  Rowe's  Lucan,  which  I  have  gone  through,  and 
Garth's  Compilation  of  the  Metamorphoses,  which  I  have  not 
yet  finished.  To  improve  in  the  Dutch  Language  I  have  usu- 
ally translated  a  page  every  day;  and  after  going  thus  through 
the  Constitution  of  the  National  Assembly,  which  is  now  in 
session,  I  took  the  Introduction  to  Rendorp's  Memoirs.  I 
shall  give  the  preference  to  all  interesting  state  papers ;  because 
I  send  the  translations  to  the  Secretary  of  State,  and  thus 
answer  two  good  purposes  at  once.  My  progress  in  Italian  is 
slow,  and  I  can  only  translate  two  or  three  stanzas  of  Tasso  at 
a  time.  The  language  itself  is  enchanting,  but,  with  no  oppor- 
tunity to  speak  or  hear  it  spoken,  my  advances  are  very  small, 


1796.]  A   MISSION   TO    GREAT  BRITAIN.  lyj 

and,  with  my  other  occupations,  I  may  perhaps  grow  tired  of 
that.  To  keep  alive  my  Latin,  I  have  begun  to  translate  a  page 
of  Tacitus  every  day,  and  am  going  through  the  life  of  Agricola, 
which  in  the  year  1784,  at  this  place,  I  translated  into  French. 
I  find  this  author  still  new,  and  a  special  application  to  his 
writings  will,  I  hope,  be  useful  to  me  on  several  accounts.  His 
language,  his  wisdom,  his  style,  his  method,  all  afford  subject 
for  meditation  and  improvement.  This  is  not  the  part  of  my 
time  the  worst  employed.  My  other  writing  is  principally  con- 
fined to  writing  and  answering  letters,  or  to  this  journal.  The 
time  for  original  composition  has  not  yet  come ;  I  know  not 
whether  it  ever  will.  I  shall  probably  never  have  a  time  so 
favorable  for  it  as  the  present.  But  I  have  no  subject,  and  am 
far  from  being  yet  satisfied  with  my  style. 

August  2d.  Lesson  of  Italian  at  Bielfeld's.  Our  master  appears 
to  interest  himself  very  much  in  the  progress  of  the  French. 
There  is  here  a  man  with  whom  he  consorts;  an  author;  who 
being  acquainted  with  the  geography  of  Lower  Saxony,  his 
native  country,  offers  his  services  as  a  guide  to  the  French 
troops  now  invading  that  territory,  to  conduct  them  where  the 
richest  plunder  is  to  be  obtained.  Noel  is  therefore  going  to 
send  him  to  the  Army  of  the  Rhine.  Bielfeld  thinks  the  morality 
of  the  man  rather  inaccurate,  but  says  he  is  a  bon  diable,  and 
that  it  is  not  avarice  but  fanaticism  that  inspires  him.  I  believe 
it  is  the  fanaticism  of  the  followers  of  Catiline  and  Cethegus. 
Evening  at  the  Dutch  play — MenscJien-haat  en  Beroitw  (Misan- 
thropy and  Repentance1),  a  translation  from  a  German  Comedy 
of  Kotzebue.  The  misanthropy  is  that  of  a  husband  whose 
beloved  wife  has  been  seduced  by  a  young  man  and  has  eloped 
with  him.  The  repentance  is  that  of  his  wife,  for  having  been 
seduced,  and  her  consequent  elopement.  It  closes  with  a 
reconciliation.  Bingley  was  very  good  in  the  husband,  and 
Mademoiselle,  bating  a  little  too  much  roaring  in  her  lamenta- 
tions, excellent  in  Ulalia,  the  wife.  From  her  performance,  she 
should  more  properly  have  been  called  Ulularia.  I  cannot 
forgive  Pratt  for  comparing  her  with  Mrs.  Siddons.     For  the 

1  This  is  the  play  translated  into  English  under  the  inappropriate  title  of  "  The 
Stranger." 

VOL.  I. — 12 


lyS  MEMOIRS    OF   JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [August, 

nice  delicate  shades  that  distinguish  similar  passions  she  is 
altogether  incompetent,  and  she  knows  little  more  than  how  to 
weep  and  wail  and  gnash  her  teeth.  Her  performances  are 
therefore  very  monotonous.  Bingley  has  the  same  fault,  though 
not  in  the  same  degree.  Yet  this  evening  and  the  former  they 
beguiled  me  of  some  tears,  and  received  the  same  tribute  from 
many  others.  The  house  was  full.  The  play  is  very  long.  I 
know  not  how  many  acts  it  pretends  to  have;  but  the  natural 
divisions  give  it  six  or  seven. 

3d.  Finished  the  translation  of  Ovid's  Metamorphoses.  It 
is  very  unequal,  being  the  work  of  many  hands.  In  general  it 
preserves  the  turn  of  wit  and  quaintness  of  the  original.  The 
want  of  proper  concatenation  is  a  defect  belonging  to  the  poem 
too ;  and  the  pathetic  powers,  for  which  there  was  so  much 
room,  were  in  a  great  measure  strangers  to  a  mind  which  is 
always  toiling  for  a  conceit.  The  most  striking  part  of  the 
work,  to  me,  was  the  speeches  of  Ajax  and  Ulysses  in  their 
contest  for  the  arms  of  Achilles,  at  the  beginning  of  the  13th 
book.  They  are  highly  characteristic  and  dramatical.  I  have 
remarked  in  the  course  of  this  reading  the  source  of  a  great 
number  of  Shakespear's  allusions  and  ideas.  I  remember  the 
writers  of  his  life  mention  Sandys's  Ovid  as  one  of  the  books 
from  whence  he  gathered  the  little  learning  he  ever  had. 

5th.  Read  this  afternoon  Hoole's  Life  of  Tasso,  at  the  head 
of  his  translation.  A  romantic  life,  indeed.  Born  1544  and 
died  1595.  Settled  by  an  examination  a  scruple  that  arose  in 
my  mind  upon  a  fact  mentioned  by  the  biographers  of  Milton, 
that  he  was,  when  in  Italy,  acquainted  with  Manso,  Marquis  of 
Villa,  the  intimate  friend  of  Tasso,  and  his  patron.  My  doubts 
arose  from  the  distance  of  time  between  the  two  sublime  poets, 
and  from  an  idea  taken  from  one  of  the  biographers,  that 
Manso  is  celebrated  in  the  Gerusalemme  Liberata.  This  poem 
was  finished  and  published  in  1574.  Milton  was  in  Italy  in 
about  1638.  A  period  of  sixty-eight  years  appeared  long  for 
the  life  of  a  man  already  of  an  age  to  be  celebrated  as  a  mag- 
nanimous knight.  I  ascertained,  however,  that  it  was  really 
the  same  man,  by  turning  to  the  Latin  poem  which  Milton 
addressed  to  him.     But  it  is  in  the  Jerusalem  Conquered  that 


1 796.]  A   MISSION  TO    GREAT  BRITAIN.  Yyg 

Tasso  mentions  Manso.  This  poem  was  published  only  three 
or  four  years  before  the  death  of  the  Italian  bard.  Walk  in 
the  evening.  Met  Bielfeld.  Conversation.  He  made  some 
observations  upon  the  curious  practice  of  fabricating  books  in 
Germany  at  this  time.  There  is  a  sort  of  literary  mania  preva- 
lent there.  His  literary  Cethegus  has  told  him  some  new  anec- 
dotes upon  that  subject.  At  the  semi-annual  fair  at  Leipzig 
a  hundred  and  seventy-nine  new  novels  made  their  appear- 
ance. He  mentioned  too  the  smothered  flame  of  democracy 
as  burning  with  great  fury  in  every  part  of  Germany,  and 
especially  in  the  Danish  dominions. 

6th.  Received  this  morning  a  large  packet  of  letters  from 
England  and  America;  among  others,  one  from  the  Secretary 
of  State,  dated  June  11,  informing  me  that  I  was  appointed 
Minister  Plenipotentiary  of  the  United  States  to  Portugal,  but 
directing  me  to  remain  here  until  I  receive  further  orders. 

9th.  Bielfeld  called  on  me  towards  evening.  We  walked  to 
Scheveling.  Enquired  of  him  to  whom  the  despatches  of  the 
Prussian  Ministers  were  addressed.  He  says  directly  to  the 
King.  The  rescripts  are  directly  from  him.  The  late  King  al- 
ways wrote  the  answers  himself.  The  present  King  has  them 
brought  to  him  ready  to  sign,  in  cypher,  with  the  explanation 
on  a  different  paper.  If  he  thinks  of  any  alteration,  he  inserts 
it  on  the  explanation,  but  signs  the  cypher,  which  is  then  sent 
away  just  as  it  was.     A  curious  specimen  of  diplomacy. 

10th.  Met  Mr.  d'Araujo  and  Mr.  Levsen  in  the  Voorhout. 
Long  walk  with  them,  particularly  the  former.  He  is  a  man  of 
great  information,  and  especially  conversant  in  general  litera- 
ture. Made  some  enquiries  with  respect  to  Portugal.  He  men- 
tioned, among  many  other  things,  that  the  famous  .Methuen 
Treaty  of  1703  was  made  by  a  Portuguese  Minister  so  totally 
ignorant  of  every  thing  relative  to  commerce  that,  about  a  year 
after,  he  wrote  to  the  Minister  of  that  Court  then  residing  here 
a  letter,  in  which  he  speaks  to  this  purport :  "  By  the  way,  I 
forgot  to  tell  you  in  my  preceding  dispatches,  that  we  made 
last  year  a  Treaty  (Trattadino)  with  England,  in  which  she  agrees 
to  take  our  wines,  and  we  to  take  her  woollens.  Try  and  see  i£ 
you  can  make  such  an  one  with  the  Dutch."     The  Chevalier 


I  So  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [August, 

says  that  he  found  this  letter  among  the  archives  of  the  lega- 
tion. 

The  same  Minister  did  not  know  that  in  the  English  Parlia- 
ment there  had  already  been  debates  upon  the  subject  of  ad- 
mitting the  wines  of  Portugal,  upon  the  same  terms  as  they 
are  by  the  Treaty,  without  any  stipulation  whatever.  The 
Treaty  was  agreed  to  by  the  Dutch  only  for  the  asking.  M. 
d'Araujo  has  no  great  opinion  of  the  commercial  abilities  of 
Lord  Auckland — says  that  the  Commercial  Treaty  with  France, 
upon  which  his  fame  first  originated,  was  the  work  of  Mr.  Craw- 
ford— that  at  the  time  when  Great  Britain  and  Russia  were  at 
the  point  of  war,  Auckland  asked  him  one  day  what  way  the 
troops  were  to  be  sent  to  assist  the  Turks  against  the  Russians. 

1 2th.  Met  Mr.  Levsen  and  M.  d'Araujo  this  evening  in  the 
Voorhout.  Walk  with  them.  Bielfeld  mentioned  to  me  a 
curious  taste  of  M.  Noel,  the  French  Minister;  that  of  collect- 
ing manuscript  copies  of  all  sorts  of  lascivious  tales  in  verse, 
from  printed  books.  Our  Italian  instructor  is  almost  constantly 
employed  by  him  at  this  sort  of  copying;  and  he  is  very  scru- 
pulous and  nice  to  have  the  handwriting  neat  and  elegant.  I 
remember  that  among  the  books  which  I  brought  from  Eng- 
land for  him  were  a  number  of  volumes,  manuscript,  of  this 
description.  I  now  wish  I  had  examined  a  little  further  the 
character  of  those  books.  I  did  not,  however,  then  imagine 
that  he  was  the  man  whose  relish  for  the  rankest  faeces  of 
literature  was  so  keen.  Before  the  revolution  of  France  a 
clergyman,  and  Professor  of  Eloquence  at  the  College  of 
Louis  le  Grand  in  the  University  of  Paris :  since  that  period 
employed  in  high  rank  among  their  diplomatic  negotiators — I 
did  not  suspect  him  of  a  propensity  so  ill  sorted  with  his  old 
profession,  as  well  as  with  his  new  station.  By  what  a  strange 
sort  of  beings  the  affairs  of  the  world  are  managed ! 

13th.  At  the  French  play  this  evening — "Othello,  ou  le 
More  de  Venise."  A  wretched  travestie  by  Ducis  from  Shake- 
spear's  Othello,  with  most  of  his  defects,  and  innumerable 
others,  with  scarce  one  of  his  beauties.  It  has  the  merit,  how- 
ever, of  containing  sarcasms  upon  aristocracy,  and  abuse  upon 
the    government   of   Venice.      Othello  was    tawny,  but    not 


1796.]  A   MISSION  TO    GREAT  BRITAIN.  181 

black.  The  performance  was  worse  than  the  play.  Visit  this 
morning  from  the  French  Minister,  Noel.  He  says  the  French 
consuls  at  Amsterdam  and  Rotterdam  both  write  him  that 
they  have  violent  suspicions  that  some  captains  of  American 
vessels  engage  on  board  of  them  French  soldiers  belonging 
to  the  Army  of  the  North.  He  desired  me,  therefore,  to  re- 
quest of  the  agents  of  the  United  States  in  those  places  to 
prevent  any  practice  of  that  kind  in  future,  and  further  wished 
me  to  authorise  the  French  officers  to  visit  the  vessels,  to  dis- 
cover whether  any  French  soldiers  were  concealed  in  them.  I 
told  him  that  I  had  no  power  to  authorise  any  person  to  visit 
or  examine  American  vessels,  and,  if  I  should  pretend  to  as- 
sume it,  the  American  captains  would  certainly  not  recognise 
it;  but  that  I  would  readily  write  to  the  consul  at  Amsterdam, 
and  request  him  to  discourage  as  much  as  possible  every  such 
practice,  and  to  recommend  the  discharge  of  any  persons  who 
may  have  been  thus  engaged. 

25th.  Finished  reading  Hoole's  translation  of  Tasso.  The 
book  is  popular.  The  versification  is  very  smooth,  but  it  ap- 
pears to  be  feeble.  It  is  cold,  and  has  been  read  like  a  task, 
and  of  course  with  very  little  attention.  I  have  compared 
most  of  the  first  book  with  the  original.  The  sense  is  diluted. 
The  poetic  charm,  the  soul  of  the  verse,  is  in  many  instances 
lost,  or  rather  is  in  very  few  preserved.  But  when  Tasso  is 
robbed  of  this  attraction  he  has  but  little  left.  His  invention 
is  wretchedly  poor  and  strangely  absurd.  His  machinery  is 
pitiful.  But  his  details  of  sentiment,  character,  and  language 
are  admirable.  "  La  Poesie,"  says  Voltaire,  "  ne  plait  que 
par  les  beaux  details."  This  is  a  very  mean  and  false  idea  of 
Poetry,  but  it  suits  the  delicate  tenuity  of  a  French  critic, 
and  is  just  calculated  to  place  the  Henriade  or  the  Jerusalem 
above  the  Iliad,  and  the  Zaire  above  the  Othello.  Upon  this 
maxim  the  poem  of  Tasso  would  be  superior  to  any  produc- 
tion of  the  Epic  Muse  till  the  days  of  Voltaire.  Tasso  excels 
very  much  in  his  female  characters.  His  Sophronia,  Clo- 
rinda,  Erminia,  Gildippe,  and  even  Armida,  are  all  extremely 
interesting.  The  Gerusalemme,  therefore,  is  above  all  others 
the  Epic  Poem  of  the  ladies.     Homer's  Andromache  stands 


lg2  MEMOIRS   OF   JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [August, 

alone,  and  bears  a  very  subordinate  part.  His  Penelope, 
though  much  praised,  excites  little  attention.  All  the  rest  are 
either  obnoxious,  or  have  so  little  agency  that  they  are  not  to 
be  mentioned.  Virgil  is  noted  for  his  severity  to  the  fair  sex. 
He  seems  to  delight  in  aggravating  their  infirmities  and  insult- 
ing their  misfortunes.  Milton  has  but  one  female.  But,  alas  ! 
Hinc  illse  lacrymae.     She  is  the  instrument  which 

"  Brought  Death  into  the  world,  and  all  our  woe." 

Lucan's  Cornelia,  though  respectable,  is  employed  in  little  else 
besides  lamentation  ;  and  Voltaire's  Belle  Gabrielle  is  not  much 
better  than  his  Agnes  Sorel.  But  all  that  is  tender,  generous, 
and  amiable,  as  well  as  brave,  is  united  in  the  heroines  of 
Tasso.  Their  adventures  comprehend  the  most  pleasing  parts 
of  the  whole  poem,  and  indeed  there  is  scarce  any  part  of  it 
but  in  which  some  one  or  more  of  them  appears.  The  story 
of  Edward  and  Gildippe  is  upon  the  model  of  Nisus  and 
Euryalus,  but  is  much  more  affecting  to  a  chaste  imagination. 
Armida  is  a  composition  of  Calypso,  of  Circe,  and  of  Dido, 
and  a  great  improvement  upon  them  all.  Erminia  has  some 
traits  in  common  with  Helen,  but  is  much  her  superior,  as  is 
Clorinda  to  Camilla.  Sophronia  appears  to  be  an  original,  and 
is  a  very  pleasing  one.  One  of  the  great  advantages  which  this 
poem  has  over  those  of  antiquity  arises  from  the  superior 
manners.  There  is  a  refinement  of  passion  and  a  delicacy  of 
sentiment  which  can  be  attributed  only  to  the  operation  of 
the  precepts  of  Christianity  upon  the  human  character.  The 
loving  passions  of  antiquity  were  coarse,  their  hatred  was  im- 
placable. Achilles  restored  the  body  of  Hector  to  Priam ;  but 
that  was  from  a  motive  of  generosity  when  he  felt  no  resent- 
ment ;  at  all  other  times  he  was  unrelenting.  The  pious  ^Eneas 
is  equally  inflexible  to  the  compunctious  visitings  of  Nature  ; 
but  Tancred  and  Rinaldo  are  both  merciful  and  generous  to 
their  vanquished  enemies.  Their  love  is  gentle,  and  their 
anger  is  humane.  This  is  one  of  the  benefits  of  Christianity  the 
most  clearly  evident,  as  the  revolution  of  manners  is  indubi- 
table, and  can  be  traced  to  no  other  source,  while  it  naturally 
flows  from  that.     Mr.  Hoole  has  omitted  some  of  the  concetti 


1796.]  A    MISSION   TO    GREAT  BRITAIN.  ^3 

from  which  Boileau  inferred  that  Tasso  was  all  tinsel.  There 
are  too  many  of  them  in  the  original;  but  from  such  defects 
what  modern  poet  is  altogether  exempt  ?  I  ought  to  have 
finished  this  book  two  days  ago.  As  the  weight  of  the  task 
increased,  I  felt  my  disposition  to  slip  from  under  it  grow 
upon  me,  and  I  have  omitted  the  work  of  two  days. 

31st.  Monthly  day.  The  first  half  of  this  month  was  very 
industrious,  especially  in  writing.  I  have  seldom  been  during 
the  same  length  of  time  so  steadily  and  constantly  employed. 
My  rising  hour  was  about  half-past  five,  and  did  not  once  ex- 
ceed six.  Began  the  day  by  translating  a  page  of  Tacitus,  then 
letter-writing  till  half-past  nine.  Breakfast.  Letter-writing  again 
with  Italian  lesson  till  half-past  two.  Walk.  Dinner.  Reading 
till  dark.  Evening  walk,  and  retired  at  about  eleven.  Pleasant 
as  this  course  was  to  my  mind,  my  health  would  not  submit  to 
it,  and  the  last  half  of  the  month  has  been  loose  and  relaxed. 
The  dog-day  temperature  spreads  a  lifeless  languor  over  the 
spirits,  irresistible  to  me.  It  overcomes  my  patience,  so  that, 
upon  Buffon's  maxim,  I  have  no  genius.  My  rising  hour  has 
retrograded  to  a  vibration  from  six  to  seven.  It  threatens  to  be- 
come still  more  indulgent  to  indolence.  The  attention  to  Tacitus, 
however,  has  not  been  intermitted.  In  reviewing  the  Agricola 
my  progress  is  slower  than  it  was  in  translating.  I  am  not 
always  able  to  write  a  page  in  the  course  of  the  morning  labor 
before  breakfast,  and  it  now  engrosses  all  that  period.  Between 
that  and  dinner  I  am  falling  into  the  habit  of  wkiling  away  the 
time  in  any  thing  that  can  serve  as  an  apology  for  idleness. 
The  afternoon  is  not  much  better,  and  generally  persists  only 
in  the  epic,  perusal,  in  which  the  two  last  days  have  been 
recovered.  The  days  are  rapidly  shortening,  and  the  evening 
will  soon  be  unfavorable  for  walking.  It  is  already  much  less 
inviting  to  that  effect,  and  I  begin  to  prefer  taking  the  neces- 
sary exercise  before  dark.  I  cannot  therefore  always  avoid 
trespassing  a  little  upon  the  evening  for  study.  The  morning 
Muse  of  History,  and  the  evening  Muse  of  Epic  Song,  are  now 
my  only  constant  attendants :  all  the  rest  are  abandoned  or 
have  only  an  occasional  moment  of  attention.  The  particular 
attention  I  am   beginning  to  devote  to  Tacitus  is  not  without 


jSa  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.        [September, 

its  reason.     I  must  be  thorough  master  of  that  writer,  if  I  have 
any  patience. 

Have  therefore  in  the  course  of  this  month  read  only  Biel- 
feld's  letters ;  part  of  the  Histoire  de  la  Conspiration  du  Due 
d'Orleans;  half  a  volume  of  Kerroux's  History  of  Holland  ;  fin- 
ished the  translation  of  the  Metamorphoses,  and  gone  through 
Hoole's  translation  of  Tasso's  Jerusalem,  with  some  books  of 
Milton's  Paradise  Lost.  It  will  be  well  if  the  reading  of  the 
next  month  should  be  even  upon  a  level  with  this. 

September  4th.  Finished  reading  the  Paradise  Lost,  the  ad- 
miration of  which  increases  in  my  mind  upon  every  perusal. 
A  criticism  upon  it  would  take  too  much  time,  and  would  have 
nothing  original.  I  mention  therefore  only  two  observations 
which  occur  to  me  upon  censures  expressed  by  eminent  men 
without  justice.  Pope,  after  noticing  the  quibbles  of  the  angels 
and  archangels  (an  undoubted  blemish  to  the  poem),  adds  that 
Milton  makes  "  God  the  Father  turn  a  school-divine."  This  is 
epigrammatic  ;  but  if  the  subject  of  the  poem,  Paradise  Lost, 
and  the  object  of  the  poet,  to  justify  the  ways  of  God  to  men, 
be  considered,  it  appears  to  be  an  absolute  necessity  that  the 
justice  of  the  Divine  proceedings  should  be  established  upon 
the  assertion  of  free  election  in  man.  This  could  not  be  ex- 
plained without  metaphysical  argument ;  without  the  nice 
distinctions  which  appear  in  the  passages  that  the  sarcasm  of 
Pope  would  condemn.  Dr.  Johnson,  among  other  objections 
to  the  conduct  of  the  poem,  says  that  the  angel  Raphael,  in 
his  conversation  with  Adam,  speaks  in  a  comparison  of  "timid 
deer,"  before  deer  could  be  timid.  There  is  no  such  expression, 
or  idea,  as  that  of  "  timid  deer"  through  the  whole  course  of 
the  poem.1 

29th.  Answer  at  length  from  the  Committee  of  External  Re- 
lations upon  the  subject  of  my  former  memorials.  It  is,  take 
it  for  all  in  all,  as  curious  a  piece  of  diplomatic  composition  as 
I  have  met  with.     From  its  defiance  of  fact  and  contempt  of 

1  "  as  a  herd 
Of  goats  or  timorous  flock  together  throng'd." — P.  L.,  B.  vi.,  1.  857. 

This  word  has  raised  a  great  question  among  the  commentators  whether  it  does 
or  does  not  include  deer. 


1796.]  A    MISSION  TO    GREAT  BRITAIN.  ^5 

argument,  I  shall  be  tempted  to  suspect  it  to  be  the  composition 
of  Noel.  It  behooves  me  now  to  be  cool.  The  provocation 
of  such  a  piece  is  so  strong,  that  it  is  probably  designed  as 
such,  and  may  be  a  French  perfidy. 

November  a$\.  Dined  at  the  Baron  de  Schubart's.  Large  com- 
pany. Mr.  Goldberg  asked  me  whether  I  could  furnish  him 
any  account  of  the  Bank  of  the  United  States  and  the  principles 
of  the  institution.  Promised  to  lend  him  the  law  by  which  it 
is  established,  and  the  report  of  Mr.  Hamilton  proposing  it. 
Noel  was  in  high  spirits ;  said  they  had  good  news.  Details 
of  an  action  in  which  the  French  had  taken  many  prisoners 
and  five  superior  officers.  As  to  Moreau's  affair,  it  was  un- 
decided. He  expected  every  day  to  hear  of  the  surrender  of 
Mantua.  At  table,  however,  he  expressed  his  dissatisfaction 
that  the  Constitution  which  is  to  be  reported  on  the  tenth  inst. 
retains  the  demarkations  of  the  Provinces.  Said  they  ought  all 
to  be  dissolved  into  a  single  body.  "  Diable !  comme  vous  y 
allez!"  said  Hahn.  "This,  however,"  said  the  other,  "is  only 
the  opinion  of  Citoyen  Noel.  The  Minister,  you  may  be  sure, 
will  find  every  thing  you  choose  to  do  excellent."  He  repeated 
this  distinction  between  himself  the  citizen,  and  himself  the 
Minister,  five  or  six  times,  as  if  it  was  a  thing  very  clear  in  his 
mind,  but  which  required  minute  explanation  to  meet  the  in- 
telligence of  his  hearers.  I  believe  they  hear  enough  of  the 
Minister's  ill  humor,  officially.  "  No,"  said  Hahn ;  "  if  the 
Minister  was  to  speak,  vous  sentez  bien  que  je  me  tairois."  "  True 
enough,"  somebody  said,  "the  Minister  is  not  here."  The 
idea  might  have  occurred  before  to  Noel.  They  drank  for  a 
toast,  "The  restoration  of  the  finances,"  and  Noel  laughed  very 
heartily.  The  subject  cannot  in  his  mind  be  susceptible  of 
serious  discussion. 

10th.  This  being  the  day  fixed  for  the  report  of  a  Constitu- 
tion to  be  made  to  the  National  Assembly,  I  attended  the 
meeting.  Found  Mr.  Bosset  there.  The  credentials  were  read 
of  a  Minister  Plenipotentiary  from  Spain,  who  arrived  last  even- 
ing, and  this  morning  presented  them  to  the  President.  He 
came  soon  after  into  the  lodge,  as  did  MM.  de  Schubart  and 
Noel,  Reuterswerd,  and  the  Counsellor  Scholten.     Noel  intro- 


> 
jg6  MEMOIRS    OF   JOHN   QUINCY  ADAMS.        [December, 

duced  the  Spanish  Minister,  the  Chevalier  d'Anduaga.  The 
Constitution  was  produced  between  one  and  two.  The  Chair- 
man of  the  Committee  made  a  speech  on  producing  it,  which  the 
President  answered.  The  substituted  members  took  their  leave 
in  withdrawing  from  the  deliberations  of  the  Assembly.  Lu- 
blink,  in  their  name,  made  a  speech.  It  was  resolved  to  read 
the  Constitution  on  Monday.  One  of  the  members  of  the 
Committee,  Van  der  Kasteele,  announced  that  he  should 
oppose  its  adoption,  as  it  was  not  founded  on  the  principles 
of  Unity  and  Indivisibility.  A  warm  debate  then  arose  upon 
the  question  whether  it  should  be  read  immediately,  or  on 
Monday.  The  debate  was  at  length  adjourned  till  to-morrow 
morning. 

2 1  st.  At  the  Assembly  an  hour.  Heard  the  close  of  a  speech 
of  Vreede,  and  the  beginning  of  that  of  Schimmelpenninck. 
They  write  beforehand  all  their  speeches  upon  affairs  of  any 
importance,  and  read  them  from  the  tribune.  The  question 
now  under  consideration  is  whether  they  shall  debate  the  Con- 
stitution lately  reported,  or  reject  it  at  once.  There  is  not 
much  eloquence  among  them. 

December  1 3th.  Dined  by  invitation  at  the  Patriotic  Society,  in 
the  house  which  was  formerly  the  Prince's  Cabinet  and  Library. 
There  were  about  a  hundred  persons  at  table,  generally  mem- 
bers of  the  Assembly,  the  Corps  Diplomatique,  and  officers  of 
the  armies,  French  and  Batavian.  The  dinner  was  given  on 
occasion  of  the  Decree  of  Unity  and  Indivisibility  by  the  Na- 
tional Assembly.  The  Citizen  Buys  after  dinner  read  a  speech, 
which  appeared  to  be  of  Noel's  composition.  It  was  an  address 
to  the  Batavian  Citizens  present,  congratulating  them  upon  the 
Decree  of  Indivisibility.  There  was,  among  other  things  intro- 
duced, a  compliment  to  the  foreign  Ministers  present,  decent 
enough.  About  half  a  dozen  toasts  were  drank — the  Batavian 
and  French  Republics,  the  Powers  in  friendship  with  them, 
&c.  Before  dinner  the  President  of  the  National  Assembly  and 
Mr.  Van  Leyden  informed  me  that  my  note  lately  presented 
had  been  read  at  a  meeting  of  the  Committee  of  Foreign  Af- 
fairs. That  at  the  next  general  meeting  they  would  probably 
resolve  to  propose  to  the  Assembly  the  appointment  of  persons 


1796.]  A    MISSION   TO    GREAT  BRITAIN.  i$y 

to  confer  with  me  upon  the  subject  of  its  contents.     The  Presi- 
dent's name  is  Van  Lennep. 

31st.  With  the  commencement  of  the  present  year  I  began 
the  practice  of  noting  monthly  the  usual  distribution  of  my 
employments  and  amusements  through  the  course  of  the  day — 
a  practice  which  is  not  without  its  use  for  my  own  retrospection. 
The  five  first  months  of  this  year,  spent  in  London,  were  a 
period  of  leisure  accidentally  given  me,  and  too  much  of  which 
I  allowed  to  the  indulgence  of  indolence.  The  seven  last 
months,  passed  at  the  Hague,  have,  on  the  contrary,  been  a  time 
of  as  steady  and  constant  application  as  ever  occurred  in  the 
course  of  my  life.  I  have  endeavored  to  contract  the  habit 
of  early  rising ;  and  although,  since  the  commencement  of  the 
winter,  the  severity  and  darkness  of  the  season  have  produced 
some  relaxation  in  the  execution  of  my  determination,  yet  I 
have  maintained  it  upon  the  whole  with  less  flexibility  than  I 
apprehended  I  should.  I  have  in  a  great  measure  repaired  to 
my  own  satisfaction  the  loss  of  my  time  in  the  dissipation  of 
London,  and  have  now  only  to  hope  for  resolution  and  health  • 
to  continue  the  same  degree  of  industry,  with  some  variation 
in  my  objects  of  pursuit.  With  my  conduct  also  since  my  re- 
turn from  England  I  am  more  content  than  I  was  there,  and  in 
the  course  of  seven  months  I  can  have  nothing  essential  to 
regret.  I  have,  indeed,  happily,  nothing  vicious  to  reproach 
myself  with  during  the  whole  year,  though  I  remember,  with 
the  regret  which  I  hope  will  tend  to  my  improvement,  many 
errors  and  some  follies.  At  least  I  have  not  knowingly  injured 
any  human  being,  and  I  can  form  no  more  fervent  prayer  to 
Heaven  than  that,  at  the  termination  of  every  succeeding  year 
which  may  be  granted  me,  and  at  the  end  of  life,  my  own  heart 
may  yield  me  a  testimony  as  pure  and  as  favorable  as  it  does 
at  this  moment. 

Day.  Rise  in  the  morning  at  about  seven.  Translate  two  pages 
of  history  from  Tacitus.  Breakfast  at  about  ten.  Afterwards 
till  two,  dressing,  receiving  or  paying  visits,  or  writing  letters. 
Dine  between  three  and  four.  After  dinner  read  a  few  papers  of 
the  Rambler.  Walk  of  three  or  four  miles  immediately  before  or 
after  dinner.  Evening  generally  in  company  and  at  cards.  Seldom 


!88  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [June, 

at  home,  and  reading  a  few  of  Cicero's  Letters.  A  profound 
anxiety  has  taken  possession  of  my  mind.  The  situation  of 
two  objects  the  nearest  to  my  heart,  my  country  and  my  father, 
press  continually  upon  my  reflections.  They  engross  every 
thought,  and  almost  every  power,  every  faculty.  The  struggle 
is  painful,  indeed,  amid  such  sensations,  to  bear  a  cheerful  coun- 
tenance to  the  world,  to  stifle  every  apprehension,  and  repress 
every  rising  sigh.  A  sullen  glooms  hangs  upon  futurity.  May 
the  merciful  Disposer  of  all  events  avert  the  approaching  terrors, 
and  dispel  the  threatening  tempest !  For  myself  I  ask  only 
Virtue  and  Fortitude.  Virtue,  to  discharge  all  the  duties  of 
life  ;  and  Fortitude,  to  bear  whatever  destiny  awaits  me.  For 
my  father  and  my  country,  my  supplications  to  Eternal  wisdom 
and  goodness  comprehend  the  issue  and  result  of  action,  and 
pray  for  their  welfare  and  prosperity  no  less  than  for  the  means 
that  tend  to  procure  them. 

March  4th,  1797.  The  day  upon  which  the  new  administration 
of  the  United  States  commences,  and  I  am  still  uncertain  what 
the  elections  have  decided.  Every  thing  has  contributed  to  accu- 
mulate anxiety  upon  this  event  in  my  mind.  Futurity  laughs 
at  our  foresight.  I  can  only  pray  for  the  happiness  and  pros- 
perity of  my  country.     Wrote  a  letter  to  my  father. 

April  9th.  Received  this  morning  from  Mr.  Williams,  the 
Consul  at  Hamburg,  a  letter  with  a  packet  from  the  Secretary 
of  State,1  containing  my  recall  from  the  mission  here,  and  a 
Commission  as  Minister  Plenipotentiary  of  the  United  States  to 
Portugal ;  and  also  a  couple  of  letters,  one  of  them  containing 
instructions  for  my  new  mission. 

June  5th.  Holiday.  They  call  it  Pentecost,  and  observe 
these  days  more  generally  here  than  I  imagined,  or  had  hereto- 
fore remarked.  After  dinner  took  a  long  walk  with  Mr.  Cutting, 
out  at  the  Haerlem  gate,  and  went  round  the  Canal  beyond  the 
walls ;  the  outer  Cingel  to  the  Dyke  in  view  of  the  Zuidersee, 
upon  which  we  went  some  way.     Returned,  and  passed  the 

1  On  Saturday,  the  28th  of  May,  1796,  President  Washington  had  sent  to  the 
Senate  a  nomination  of  Mr.  Adams  as  Minister  to  Lisbon,  and  it  was  confirmed  by 
that  body  on  the  succeeding  Monday.  The  long  delay  in  sending  out  his  com- 
mission to  him  was  caused  by  circumstances  rendering  it  expedient,  in  the  judgment 
of  the  President,  to  retain  him  for  a  time  at  his  former  post. 


1 797.]  A   MISSION   TO    GREAT  BRITAIN.  jgg 

evening  with  Cutting,  Mr.  Vancouver,  and  Marshall  the 
younger,  and  Lee.  Mr.  Vancouver's  brother  has  made  the 
last  voyage  round  the  world,  which  is  soon  to  be  published. 
He  himself  is  a  traveller,  a  man  of  information  and  under- 
standing. Cutting  told  us  of  Mr.  Jefferson's  instructions  to  the 
traveller  Ledyard  when  he  intended  to  try  the  passage  across 
from  Kamschatka.  He  was  to  carry  nothing  with  him,  no  in- 
struments, no  books,  nothing  that  could  possibly  tempt  the 
avidity  of  a  savage.  But  he  was  to  keep  the  journal  of  his 
travels  by  pricking  it  with  thorns  upon  his  skin.  He  had  a 
scale  of  a  foot  marked  out  with  Indian  ink,  in  inches  and  lines, 
upon  his  arm,  between  the  elbow  and  the  wrist.  If  he  met  any 
remarkable  mountain  or  other  object,  of  which  he  wished  to 
know  the  latitude,  he  was  to  cut  him  a  stick  of  three  feet  long, 
and  in  the  same  spot  mark  the  length  of  its  shadow  by  the 
rising  and  setting  sun,  and  then  by  the  point  of  intersection 
drawn  from  the  extremity  of  the  two  shadows,  he  would  find 
the  length  of  the  shadow  at  noon,  whence  the  latitude  might 
be  collected.  If  he  came  across  a  river,  and  wished  to  measure 
its  width,  he  was  to  plant  a  stick  at  some  station  upon  the  bank, 
then,  with  another  stick,  horizontally  level  his  eye  at  the  opposite 
bank ;  after  which,  turning  round  his  stick  and  preserving  it  at 
the  same  angle,  take  a  sight  with  it  at  some  object  on  the  bank 
where  he  stood  and  measure  the  distance,  which  would,  of  course, 
give  him  that  across  the  river.  Cutting  was  in  extasies  while  he 
told  all  this.  Poor  Ledyard  was  stopped  on  his  travels  at  To- 
bolsk, and  afterwards  died  at  Grand  Cairo,  on  another  journey 
into  Abyssinia.  But  had  he  pursued  his  north-west  road,  what- 
ever benefit  his  success  might  have  procured  to  mankind,  his 
journal  upon  his  skin  would  not,  I  think,  have  been  worth  much. 
9th.  This  forenoon  arrived  Mr.  Dandridge,  Mr.  Murray's 
Secretary,  with  Captain  Smith,  the  master  of  the  vessel  in 
which  they  came.  They  called  on  me  with  Mr.  Damen.  To- 
wards night  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Murray  themselves  arrived,  and  I 
immediately  called  upon  them.  I  was  intimately  acquainted 
with  him  in  the  year  1784,  but  have  not  seen  him  since.1     The 

1  William  Vans  Murray  had  been  appointed  to  succeed  Mr.  Adams  as  Minister 
Resident  at  the  Hague. 


jOO  MEMOIRS    OF   JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [June, 

lapse  of  thirteen  years  is  perceptible  upon  his  countenance. 
Mrs.  Murray  I  have  never  before  seen.  They  are  both  much 
fatigued,  and  somewhat  unwell  from  a  long  and  tedious  passage 
North-about,  and  a  journey  from  the  Texel  here.  Supped  with 
them  in  their  apartment.  The  letters  and  newspapers,  which 
Mr.  Murray  brings  me,  kept  me  up  reading  till  two  in  the 
morning. 

ioth.  Spent  the  principal  part  of  the  day  in  conversation 
with  Mr.  Murray  upon  every  subject  concerning  which  he  was 
desirous  of  information.  We  made  a  large  party  and  went 
to  the  French  Comedy  in  the  evening.  Le  Conciliateur, 
ou  l'Homme  aimable,  a  new  play,  by  M.  de  Moustier,  and 
l'Epreuve  Villageoise.     The  performance  was  good. 

I  ith.  We  made  a  party  this  morning,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Murray, 
Mr.  and  Mrs.  Marshall,  Louis  Marshall,  Mr.  Vancouver,  Mr. 
Dandridge,  Mr.  Lee,  and  myself,  to  visit  the  little  towns  of 
Saardam  and  Broek,  in  North  Holland.  We  crossed  the  river 
Y  in  a  sail-boat,  and  on  the  other  side  took  carriages,  which 
carried  us  in  two  hours  to  Broek.  This  village  is  distinguished 
for  its  extreme  cleanliness.  It  consists  of  about  two  hundred 
families,  most  of  which  are  very  wealthy.  You  would  imagine 
the  whole  village  covered  by  a  single  roof.  The  houses  are  all 
low ;  very  neatly  painted.  There  is  a  small  yard  or  garden,  en- 
circled by  a  fence,  before  their  front  doors,  which  are  all  placed 
so  high  from  the  ground  as  to  require  three  or  four  steps  of 
descent.  There  are,  however,  no  steps  from  them.  The  doors 
themselves  are  never  opened  except  upon  two  occasions,  when 
there  is  a  death  or  marriage  in  the  family.  We  saw  the  people 
coming  from  church ;  their  dresses  were  all  alike,  all  black  and 
the  customary  habiliments  of  the  Dutch  peasants.  The  women 
had  a  little  square  plate  of  silver,  about  the  size  of  the  reflecting 
glass  in  a  mariner's  quadrant,  fastened  at  each  of  their  temples. 
The  streets  are  not  wide  enough  for  the  passage  of  any  carriage 
drawn  by  horses  or  oxen.  They  are  paved  throughout  with 
fiat  bricks,  sanded  and  swept  in  angles  like  a  floor.  In  the 
church  there  was  nothing  remarkable.  In  the  poor-house, 
which  we  entered,  we  found  every  thing  neat  in  proportion  to 
the  streets.     From  thence  we  went  to  Saardam  in  two  hours 


1 797-]  A   MISSION  TO    GREAT  BRITAIN. 


I9I 


and  a  half.  There  we  stopped  and  dined.  This  place  I  have 
seen  before.  It  is  a  large  town,  where  the  principal  ship  build- 
ing is  carried  on.  It  would  be  remarkably  neat  to  any  one  not 
coming  from  Broek.  But  that  renders  the  judgment  very 
fastidious.  This  is  the  place  where  the  Czar  Peter,  called  the 
Great,  worked  as  a  common  ship  carpenter.  They  show  the 
house  in  which  he  worked.  We  went  to  the  church,  where  we 
found  the  minister  preaching  to  a  large  and  decent  auditory. 
We  saw  the  picture  of  the  woman  thrown  up  by  a  bull,  and 
delivered  of  a  child  in  the  air;  an  accident  which  is  said  to 
have  happened  in  this  place,  and  has  thus  been  commemorated. 
After  dinner  we  returned  to  Amsterdam  as  we  came. 

15th.  Visited  Mr.  Van  Leyden,  and  informed  him  of  the 
arrival  of  Mr.  Murray.  Agreed  to  introduce  him  to  Mr.  Van 
Leyden  to-morrow  morning.  Conversation  with  him  upon  the 
subject  of  the  presents  usually  made  to  foreign  Ministers  when 
they  take  leave.  I  told  him  that,  as  I  shall  still  hold  an  office 
of  trust  and  profit  under  the  United  States  at  the  time  of  my 
departure,  an  article  of  the  Constitution  forbids  my  acceptance 
of  any  present  whatever  from-  a  foreign  Government,  and  that 
I  wish  this  obligation  on  my  part  may  be  understood  in  its 
proper  sense,  and  not  as  proceeding  from  any  disrespect  to  this 
Government.  He  then  asked  whether  the  consent  of  Congress 
could  not  be  obtained.  I  could  not  say  how  that  might  be. 
He  said  that  in  order  to  avoid  the  unpleasant  appearance  of  a 
refusal,  it  might  be  left  for  a  future  arrangement,  until  I  could 
write  and  obtain  the  consent  of  Congress.  I  agreed  to  leave 
it  thus,  and  that  in  case  I  should  obtain  that  consent  I  can  re- 
ceive the  present  afterwards.  Mr.  Van  Leyden  is  unwell,  and 
going  out  of  town.  Called  afterwards  at  General  Pinckney's,1 
and  went  with  him  and  his  family  to  the  Heeren  Logement  to 
see  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Murray.  Walk  in  the  evening  with  Mr. 
Murray,  and  out  late. 

1 6th.  This  morning,  between  nine  and  ten,  I  introduced  Mr. 
Murray  and  Mr.  Dandridge  to  Mr.  Van  Leyden,  for  whom  they 

1  Charles  Cotesworth  Pinckney,  appointed  Minister  to  France,  and  then  on  his 
way  to  Paris.  The  history  of  that  fruitless  mission  makes  one  of  the  most  interest- 
ing portions  of  our  diplomatic  history. 


IG2  MEMOIRS    OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [1797. 

both  had  letters.  We  told  him  that  we  propose  to  deliver  our 
letters  of  recall  and  credence  to  the  President  on  Monday  or 
Tuesday.  He  requested  me  in  that  case  to  write  to  the  Presi- 
dent, naming  the  day,  and  requesting  to  know  the  hour  that 
would  suit  him,  to  which  I  agreed,  and  accordingly  did  write 
in  the  course  of  the  day. 

20th.  At  ten  this  morning  I  called  upon  Mr.  Murray,  and 
went  with  him  to  the  Hall  of  Audience  of  the  National  Assem- 
bly, where  we  were  received  by  the  President,  Mr.  Vitringa. 
After  introducing  to  him  Mr.  Murray  I  delivered  my  letters  of 
recall,  together  with  a  letter  to  the  National  Assembly,  taking 
leave  of  them,  conformably  to  my  instructions.  Mr.  Murray 
then  delivered  his  credentials.  The  President,  after  the  usual 
compliments  to  me  upon  my  departure,  and  to  Mr.  Murray 
upon  his  arrival,  assured  us  that  he  would  lay  our  papers  before 
the  Assembly  immediately.  After  a  short  conversation  upon 
indifferent  subjects,  we  withdrew. 


CHAPTER    V. 

MARRIAGE,    AND    THE    MISSION    TO    PRUSSIA. 

On  the  31st  of  June,  1797,  Mr.  Adams  took  his  leave  of  the 
Hague,  where  he  had  spent  nearly  four  years,  with  the  view  of 
proceeding  to  Portugal,  to  which  country  he  had  been  trans- 
ferred by  the  direction  of  President  Washington.  His  design 
was  to  proceed  to  London,  there  to  fulfil  the  matrimonial  en- 
gagement into  which  he  had  entered  with  Miss  Johnson,  and 
thence  to  pass  by  sea  to  Lisbon. 

But  on  his  arrival  in  England  the  first  news  that  greeted 
him  was  another  change  of  destination.  The  President  had 
closed  his  term  of  office  on  the  4th  of  March,  and  John 
Adams  had  assumed  the  place  as  the  legally  elected  successor. 
Foreseeing  the  possibility  of  hesitation  on  the  part  of  the 
latter  in  retaining  his  son  in  office,  Washington  had  taken  an 
occasion,  a  few  days  before  his  retirement,  to  address  to  him 
the  following  letter,  which  will  speak  for  itself: 

Monday,  20  February,  1797. 

Dear  Sir  : — 

I  thank  you  for  giving  me  the  perusal  of  the  enclosed.  The 
sentiments  do  honor  to  the  head  and  heart  of  the  writer,  and  if 
my  wishes  would  be  of  any  avail,  they  should  go  to  you  in  a 
strong  hope  that  you  will  not  withhold  merited  promotion  from 
Mr.  John  Adams  because  he  is  your  son.  For  without  intend- 
ing to  compliment  the  father  or  the  mother,  or  to  censure  any 
others,  I  give  it  as  my  decided  opinion,  that  Mr.  Adams  is  the 
most  valuable  public  character  we  have  abroad,  and  that  there 
remains  no  doubt  in  my  mind  that  he  will  prove  himself  to  be 
the  ablest  of  our  diplomatic  corps. 

vol.  1.— 13  193 


!g4  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS. 

If  he  was  now  to  be  brought  into  that  line,  or  into  any  other 
public  walk,  I  could  not,  upon  the  principle  which  has  regu- 
lated my  own  conduct,  disapprove  of  the  caution  which  is 
hinted  at  in  the  letter.  But  he  is  already  entered.  The  public 
more  and  more,  as  he  is  known,  are  appreciating  his  talents  and 
worth,  and  his  country  would  sustain  a  loss  if  these  were  to  be 
checked  by  over  delicacy  on  your  part. 

I  am,  ever  yours, 

Vice  President.  G°-  Washington. 

This  letter  refers  to  something  received  which  gave  occasion 
to  the  observations.  It  was  doubtless  a  communication  from 
J.  Q.  Adams  relating  to  the  matter.  Although  it  is  not  pos- 
sible absolutely  to  identify  that  paper,  the  probabilities  point 
to  a  letter  still  preserved,  bearing  date  the  14th  of  November, 
1796,  addressed  to  his  mother,  which,  by  the  slow  methods  of 
transition  customary  in  that  day,  is  not  likely  to  have  reached 
her  much  before  the  date  of  the  correspondence.  If  this  con- 
jecture be  correct,  then  it  was  the  following  paragraph  from 
that  letter  which  elicited  the  remarkable  reply : 

"  The  appointment  to  the  mission  of  Portugal  I  find  from 
your  letter  was,  as  I  had  before  concluded,  unknown  to  my 
father.  I  have  already  written  you  upon  the  subject,  and  I 
hope,  my  ever  dear  and  honored  mother,  that  you  are  fully 
convinced  from  my  letters  which  you  have  before  this  received, 
that  upon  the  contingency  of  my  father's  being  placed  in  the 
first  magistracy,  /  shall  never  give  him  any  trouble  by  solicita- 
tion for  office  of  any  kind.  Your  late  letters  have  repeated  so 
many  times  that  I  shall  in  that  case  have  nothing  to  expect,  that 
I  am  afraid  you  have  imagined  it  possible  that  I  might  form 
expectations  from  such  an  event.  I  had  hoped  that  my  mother 
knew  me  better — that  she  did  do  me  the  justice  to  believe 
that  I  have  not  been  so  totally  regardless  or  forgetful  of  the 
principles  which  education  had  instilled,  nor  so  totally  destitute 
of  a  personal  sense  of  delicacy,  as  to  be  susceptible  of  a  wish 
tending  in  that  direction.  I  have  indeed  long  known  that  my 
father  is  far  more  ambitious  of  my  advancement,  far  more  so- 


I797-]  THE  MISSION  TO   PRUSSIA.  jgc 

licitous  for  the  extension  of  my  fame,  than  I  ever  have  been, 
or  ever  shall  be,  myself;  but  I  have  hitherto  had  the  satisfac- 
tion to  observe  that  the  notice  with  which  my  country  and  its 
government  have  honored  me,  and  the  confidence  which  they 
have  been  pleased  repeatedly  to  repose  in  me,  have  been  with- 
out the  smallest  agency  of  my  father,  other  than  the  recom- 
mendation which  his  services  carried  with  them." 

The  effect  of  the  representation  made  by  Washington  was 
perhaps  to  change  the  destination  of  Mr.  Adams's  mission, 
without  altering  its  grade.  At  the  same  time  it  established  a 
new  diplomatic  station  at  Berlin.  A  special  duty  of  importance 
was  likewise  connected  with  it,  as  the  memorable  Treaty  which 
had  been  negotiated  with  that  country  at  the  close  of  the 
Revolution  was  about  to  expire  by  its  own  limitation,  unless 
specifically  renewed. 

It  appears  from  the  executive  record  of  the  Senate  of  the 
United  States  that  on  the  28th  of  May,  1796,  the  President 
sent  in  the  following  message  : 

Gentlemen  of  the  Senate: — 

I  nominate  John  Quincy  Adams,  at  present  Minister  Resi- 
dent of  the  United  States  at  the  Hague,  to  be  their  Minister 
Plenipotentiary  at  Lisbon.  G°-  Washington. 

On  the  30th  of  May,  the  Senate  advised  and  consented  to 
the  appointment  without  a  division. 

On  the  20th  of  May  of  the  next  year,  the  following  message 
appears  to  have  been  sent  in  : 

Gentlemen  of  the  Senate: — 

I  nominate  John  Quincy  Adams,  of  Massachusetts,  to  be 
Minister  Plenipotentiary  from  the  United  States  to  the  King  of 
Prussia.  John  Adams. 

The  message  was  read. 

Ordered,  That  it  lie  for  consideration. 

On  Tuesday,  the  23d  of  May,  the  record  is  in  these  words : 


I96  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [June, 

The  Senate  proceeded  to  consider  the  message  of  the  Presi- 
dent of  the  United  States  of  the  20th  instant,  and  the  nomination 
therein  contained  of  John  Quincy  Adams,  &c. 

And  after  debate, 

Ordered,  That  the  further  consideration  thereof  be  postponed. 

Tuesday,  May  30,  1797. 

The  Senate  resumed  the  consideration  of  the  message  of  the 
President  of  the  United  States  of  the  20th,  and  the  nomination 
therein  contained,  &c. 

On  motion,  that  it  be 

Resolved,  That  the  President  be  informed  that  the  Senate 
deem  it  unnecessary  to  establish  a  permanent  Minister  at  the 
Court  of  Prussia,  and  for  that  reason  do  not  approve  his  nomi- 
nation of  John  Quincy  Adams  for  that  purpose. 

And  after  debate, 

Ordered,  That  the  further  consideration  thereof  be  postponed. 

Wednesday,  May  31,  1797. 

The  Senate  resumed  the  consideration  of  the  message  of  the 
President  of  the  United  States  and  the  nomination  therein 
contained,  &c. 

And  the  motion  yesterday  made  thereon  being  withdrawn, 

On  motion,  that  the  nomination  of  John  Quincy  Adams  for 
Minister  Plenipotentiary  at  the  Court  of  Prussia  be  postponed, 

A  motion  was  made  to  amend  the  motion  by  adding  thereto 
the  following  words,  until  the  10th  of  March  next; 

Which  passed  in  the  negative,  and 

On  motion,  it  was  agreed  that  the  motion  be  amended  to 
read  as  follows : 

Resolved,  That  the  consideration  of  the  nomination  of  John 
Quincy  Adams  for  Minister  Plenipotentiary  at  the  Court  of 
Prussia  be  postponed. 

And  on  the  question  to  agree  to  the  motion  as  amended, 

It  was  determined  in  the  negative.     Yeas  12,  Nays  17. 

On  motion,  that  it  be 

Resolved,  That  there  is  not,  in  the  opinion  of  the  Senate,  any 
present  occasion  that  a  Minister  should  be  sent  to  Prussia. 

On  which  the  previous  question  was  called  for,  to  wit,  Shall 
the  main  question  be  now  put  ? 


1 797-]  THE   MISSION  TO   PRUSSIA.  jgy 

And  it  passed  in  the  negative.     Yeas  II,  Nays  18. 

So  the  main  question  was  lost.     Whereupon, 

Resolved,  That  the  Senate  do  advise  and  consent  to  the 
appointment;  agreeably  to  the  nomination. 

Ordered,  That  the  Secretary  lay  this  resolution  before  the 
President  of  the  United  States. 

This  record  indicates  opposition  to  the  establishment  of  any 
mission  at  all,  rather  than  to  the  person  selected  to  fill  it.  The 
motive  for  proposing  it  was  the  fact  that  the  well-known  Treaty 
negotiated  with  Frederic  the  Second,  by  the  three  Commis- 
sioners entrusted  in  June,  1784,  with  general  powers  to  treat  in 
Europe,  was  expiring,  and  it  was  deemed  by  the.  administration 
expedient  to  renew  it.  That  instrument  was  remarkable  for 
the  recognition  of  certain  novel  principles,  which,  however 
sound  in  the  abstract,  were,  under  the  force  of  peculiar  circum- 
stances at  the  moment,  felt  to  be  embarrassing  to  the  United 
States.  Hence,  perhaps,  arose  the  indifference  in  the  Senate  to 
taking  any  step  in  that  direction. 

It  so  happened  that  another  Treaty  negotiated  by  Dr.  Frank- 
lin with  the  government  of  Sweden  in  1783,  for  a  term  of  fifteen 
years,  was  likewise  about  to  expire. 

It  was  therefore  for  the  purpose  of  negotiating  directly  with 
the  government  of  Prussia,  and  indirectly  with  the  authorities 
in  Sweden,  for  the  renewal  of  these  Treaties,  with  certain  modi- 
fications, that  Mr.  Adams  was  transferred  from  his  place  at 
Lisbon  to  Berlin.  Although  the  grade  was  precisely  the  same, 
the  responsibility  attached  to  the  duties  to  be  performed  was 
much  the  greater  at  the  latter  place. 

Under  these  circumstances  it  appears  somewhat  singular  that 
little  notice  is  taken  in  his  diary  of  the  course  of  these  nego- 
tiations. The  instructions  of  Mr.  Adams  required  him  to  pro- 
pose essential  changes  in  the  instrument,  rendered  indispensable 
by  the  embarrassment  caused  to  American  commerce,  and 
therefore  to  the^  federal  administration,  by  the  conflicts  then 
waged  upon  the  high  seas  between  the  great  naval  powers. 
Yet  to  a  nation  like  Prussia,  having  little  commerce  afloat  out 
of  which  to  raise  practical  questions  of  difficulty,  there  seemed 


jog  MEMOIRS   OF   JOHN   QUINCY  ADAMS.  [June, 

to  be  scarcely  motive  enough  to  retreat  from  the  support  of 
cherished  principles  solemnly  incorporated  by  the  two  nations 
into  a  public  compact  ominous  of  an  intention  to  establish  them 
in  due  time  as  the  recognized  law  of  all  navigating  powers.  It 
was,  therefore,  a  task  of  some  delicacy  so  to  present  the  sub- 
ject as  to  deprive  it  as  far  as  possible  of  the  appearance  of  ig- 
nominious retreat  from  doctrines  believed  to  be  sound,  and 
therefore  deserving  of  consistent  support  rather  than  of  aban- 
donment. 

Among  the  principles  agreed  upon  in  the  original  Treaty 
were : 

i.  Exemption  from  the  operation  of  embargo  in  the  ports  of 
each  other,  whether  general  or  special. 

2.  Privateering  on  each  side  abolished. 

3.  Neutral  vessels  cover  the  property  of  enemies ;  familiarly 
known  under  the  phrase,  free  ships,  free  goods. 

These  were  the  chief  points  which  it  was  the  desire  of  the 
American  government  to  have  expunged. 

Yet  in  the  official  letter  of  instructions  sent  by  the  Secretary 
of  State  to  Mr.  Adams,  it  was  distinctly  declared  that  these 
changes  were  called  for  only  by  the  emergency,  and  the  hope 
was  expressed  that  after  the  lapse  of  another  period  of  ten 
years  the  original  Treaty  might  be  revived  in  all  its  parts. 

It  was  not  without  reluctance  that  Mr.  Adams  proceeded  to 
execute  these  instructions,  particularly  so  far  as  they  abandoned 
the  principle  of  free  ships.  In  several  of  his  dispatches  he 
expressed  this  as  his  own  sentiment,  and  also  his  fear  that  the 
proposition  would  make  a  serious  difficulty  with  the  Prussian 
government,  which  had  long  been  committed  to  it  before  the 
world.  It  was  perhaps  fortunate  for  the  result  that  he  had 
not  been  compelled  to  open  the  negotiation  on  his  arrival, 
when  he  was  an  utter  stranger  to  the  Ministers.  During  the 
considerable  period  whilst  he  was  awaiting  the  reception  of  cre- 
dentials required  by  the  accession  of  the  new  sovereign,  he  had 
had  an  opportunity  to  establish  those  personal  relations  with 
the  Ministers  upon  which  the  success  or  failure  of  negotiations 
often  in  a  large  measure  depends.  Although  by  no  means 
favorably  inclined  at  the  outset  to  the  modifications  desired,  the 


1797]  THE  MISSION  TO   PRUSSIA.  Ygg 

three  Ministers  with  whom  he  had  to  deal  were  gradually 
brought  to  assent  to  the  most  material  of  them,  and  thus  Mr. 
Adams  was  so  fortunate  as  to  be  able  to  report  his  success  in 
extending  with  the  desired  modifications  the  provisions  of  the 
Treaty  for  another  period  of  ten  years. 

In  regard  to  the  Treaty  with  Sweden,  Mr.  Adams  early  made 
overtures,  through  the  agency  of  the  Minister  of  that  court 
at  Berlin,  to  a  similar  negotiation.  But  it  happened  that  M. 
Ascherade  was  soon  afterwards  taken  ill  with  a  disease  that  caused 
his  death,  and  some  time  elapsed  before  the  arrival  of  a  suc- 
cessor. When  at  last  the  Baron  d'Engestrom  replaced  him, 
and  the  subject  was  revived,  it  soon  appeared  that  there  was 
no  earnestness  to  prosecute  the  work  in  this  channel,  and  the 
Treaty  was  suffered  to  expire. 

The  Treaty  with  Prussia,  too,  at  the  end  of  the  succeeding 
ten  years,  met  with  a  similar  fate.  And  singularly  enough,  in 
the  process  of  time,  those  principles  which  were  so  formally 
declared  to  be  theirs  by  the  United  States  at  the  outset  of 
their  career  have  now  been  adopted  by  all  the  great  powers 
of  Europe,  in  a  solemn  joint  instrument  to  which  the  only 
parties  that  refused  to  give  in  their  adhesion  were  the  United 
States. 

It  is  now  time  to  proceed  to  the  extracts  taken  from  the 
Diary,  beginning  with  the  reception  by  Mr.  Adams  in  London 
of  the  news  of  his  change  of  destination. 

London,  July  18th. — As  I  was  going  out  this  morning  I  met 
Mr.  King,  who  delivered  me  letters  from  the  Secretary  of  State 
of  27th  May  and  1st  June,  and  from  my  father  of  2d  June. 
They  direct  me  not  to  proceed  to  Lisbon,  but  wait  here  for  a 
commission  and  instructions  to  the  Court  of  Berlin. 

26th.  At  nine  this  morning  I  went,  accompanied  by  my 
brother,  to  Mr.  Johnson's,  and  thence  to  the  Church  of  the 
parish  of  All  Hallows  Barking,  where  I  was  married  to  Louisa 
Catherine  Johnson,  the  second  daughter  of  Joshua  and  Cath- 
erine Johnson,  by  Mr.  Hewlett.  Mr.  Johnson's  family,  Mr. 
Brooks,  my  brother,  and  Mr.  J.  Hall  were  present.  We  were 
married  before  eleven  in  the  morning,  and  immediately  after 


200  MEMOIRS    OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [October, 

went  out  to  see  Tilney  House,  one  of  the  splendid  country  seats 
for  which  this  country  is  distinguished. 

October  18th.  Busied  in  the  morning  with  the  last  prepa- 
rations for  departure.  Sent  to  the  Duke  of  Portland's  office, 
with  my  passport  from  Mr.  King,  to  procure  an  order  permit- 
ting me  to  embark.  A  clerk  took  the  passport,  and  required 
my  personal  attendance  at  the  office  before  he  could  expedite 
the  order.  I  went  accordingly.  The  clerk  who  had  my  pass- 
port was  gone  out.  The  doorkeeper  said  he  would  perhaps 
return  between  two  and  three  o'clock,  and  evaded  my  repeated 
enquiries  what  was  his  name.  I  asked  him  his  own  name.  He 
said  his  name  was  Mr.  Then,  a  German  name.  Finding  myself 
thus  deprived  of  my  passport,  I  left  W.  to  wait  for  the  return  of 
the  clerk,  and  immediately  went  home  and  wrote  to  Mr.  King, 
stating  the  circumstances,  and  requesting  another  passport, 
being  under  the  greatest  apprehension  of  losing  my  passage  in 
consequence  of  this  detention.  Hall  told  me  I  could  get  such 
an  order  as  I  wanted  at  the  magistrate's  office  in  Bow  Street. 
Went  with  him  there ;  but  no  order  could  be  had  till  seven 
o'clock  in  the  evening,  for  which  I  could  not  stay.  At  about 
half-past  three,  my  brother  returned  from  Mr.  King's  with  the 
second  passport,  and  about  the  same  time  W.  came  from  the 
Duke's  office  with  the  other,  but  without  the  order.  I  wrote 
again  to  Mr.  King,  desiring,  if  possible,  that  the  order  might  be 
sent  down  after  me  to  Gravesend  to-night,  and  just  before  four 
we  stepped  into  the  post  chaise.  Between  seven  and  eight  we 
arrived  there.  The  ship  had  been  gone  about  two  hours  before. 
She  was,  however,  to  anchor  for  the  night  at  the  Hope,  about 
ten  miles  below.  I  was  reduced  to  the  alternative  of  losing  my 
passage  or  of  going  down  to  the  ship  in  an  open  rowing  boat. 
Upon  application  to  Mr.  Mazzinghi,  he  without  hesitation  gave 
me  the  permission  to  embark,  though  I  had  not  the  order, 
which  in  the  case  of  neutral  countries,  he  told  me,  was  expe- 
dited not  at  the  Duke  of  Portland's  office,  but  by  a  magistrate. 
We  went  into  the  boat  just  at  eight.  The  evening  was  remark- 
ably fine,  and  at  about  ten  we  reached  the  ship. 

23d.  This  morning  upon  rising  I  found  we  had  a  pilot  on 


I797-]  THE   MISSION   TO   PRUSSIA. 


201 


board,  and  were  in  sight  of  land.  It  was  the  island  of  Neuwerk, 
at  the  mouth  of  the  river  Elbe. 

26th.  At  noon  this  morning  we  anchored  in  the  port  of 
Hamburg.  An  officer  from  a  guard  house  on  our  passage  took 
our  names,  and  enquired  whether  we  were  emigrants.  From 
the  landing  place  we  came  to  the  King  of  England  Hotel. 

28th.  Visit  from  my  old  friend  Mr.  Peyron,  the  Swedish  Min- 
ister. He  says  the  King  of  Prussia  can  live  but  a  few  days 
longer,  if  he  be  not  already  dead. 

29th.  Between  twelve  and  one,  rode  out  to  Mr.  Parish's  in  the 
country,  on  the  banks  of  the  Elbe,  about  five  miles  distant  from 
the  town.  Dined  there.  Mr.  Parish  showed  me  his  corre- 
spondence with  the  Imperial  Minister  and  the  Baron  de  Thugut 
relative  to  the  liberation  of  the  prisoners1  at  Olmutz.  They  are 
now  gone  into  Holstein.  We  were  obliged  to  come  away  just 
after  four,  as  at  sunset  the  gates  of  the  city  are  shut  for  the 
night;  a  practice  founded  upon  the  vicinity  of  Altona  and  the 
other  jurisdictions  which  surround  Hamburg.  It  is  said  to 
have  also  a  fiscal  view,  as  the  principal  resources  of  the  place 
are  from  an  excise.  Evening  at  home,  reading  Miss  Woll- 
stonecraft's  Letters  from  Sweden  and  Norway.  There  is  some 
imagination  and  some  reflection  ;  but  a  canting,  whining,  sickly 
style  of  complaint,  and  almost  as  many  errors  as  ideas. 

November  2d.  'Tis  a  fast  day  in  Hamburg.  The  gates  of  the 
city  opened  at  seven  o'clock  in  the  morning,  were  shut  again  at 
nine,  during  the  time  of  divine  service.  In  the  interval  we  were  to 
go  out.  We  took  leave  of  Mr.  Williams  and  Mr.  Calhoun,  and 
started  from  the  hotel  at  about  a  quarter  before  nine.  The  first 
stage  of  three  German  miles  to  Eschebourg  we  passed  in  a  little 
more  than  three  hours.  But  the  second  of  four  miles  to  Boizen- 
bourg  took  us  between  seven  and  eight.  Mr.  Parish  told  us  we 
must  count  upon  being  two  hours  to  every  German  mile.  The 
whole  road  this  day  seems  to  be  one  bank  of  sand.  It  is  difficult 
to  perceive  how  even  the  small  villages  on  the  road  subsist,  and 
the  town  of  Lauenbourg,  within  a  German  mile  of  Boizenbourg, 
is  large.    We  passed  by  the  side  of  it,  but  not  through  it.    The 

1  The  Marquis  de  la  Fayette,  in  whose  liberation  Mr.  Adams  was  directed  to 
take  interest,  and  to  which  he  proved  useful. 


202       •  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.        [November, 

post  chaise  in  which  Mr.  Ross  and  Mr.  Williams,  with  my 
brother,  came,  broke  down  near  Lauenbourg,  and  will  detain 
us  a  little  to-morrow.  Our  hook  too  at  the  end  of  the  pole 
was  broken. 

3d.  We  slept,  in  the  German  fashion,  between  two  feather 
beds — uncomfortably.  I  like  not  the  custom.  It  was  about  nine 
when  we  took  our  departure.  Rained  hard  great  part  of  the 
night,  and  this  morning.  The  roads,  therefore,  very  bad.  We 
proceeded  only  one  stage  of  three  and  a  half  miles,  to  Liibthen. 
We  did  propose  going  another,  but  it  was  too  late.  Four 
o'clock  when  we  reached  Liibthen.  We  stopped  for  the  night. 
The  house  very  tolerable.  The  people  obliging  and  accommo- 
dating. Music  and  reading;  we  find  marks  of  them  in  almost 
every  house.  Here  was  a  very  indifferent  forte-piano,  and  much 
music  for  it  from  German  Operas,  and  several  books — of  de- 
votion chiefly — a  Bible,  a  catechism,  a  volume  divided  into 
numbers  like  the  Spectator,  called  Dcr  Greis  (the  old  man),  re- 
lating to  moral  and  religious  subjects,  with  interspersed  poetry. 

4th.  We  proposed  leaving  Liibthen  very  early  this  morning, 
but  could  not  get  away  sooner  than  half-past  six.  We  came 
again  but  one  stage  this  day  of  four  and  a  quarter  miles  to 
Leuzen,  where  we  arrived  at  four  in  the  afternoon,  and  found 
a  good  inn.  This  is  the  first  Prussian  town.  The  territory 
hitherto  has  been  that  of  Mecklenburg-Schwerin. 

5th.  We  set  out  this  morning  at  half-past  five,  and  finding 
sand  rather  more  shallow,  horses  rather  stouter,  and  drivers 
rather  better  than  the  two  days  before,  came  this  day  three 
stages — to  Perleberg,  three  miles;  to  Kletzke,  two;  and  to 
Kyritz,  three.  We  had  in  the  evening  a  fine  moon,  and  reached 
Kyritz  before  ten  at  night.  But  we  found  a  very  indifferent 
house  and  poor  beds.  Perleberg  is  the  only  considerable  town. 
We  went  into  a  church  which  appeared  to  be  of  the  Catholic 
persuasion.  Saw  a  baptism.  Heard  a  trumpet  from  the  tower 
of  the  church.  A  common  usage,  to  employ  such  persons  for 
the  amusement  of  the  public.  It  belongs  to  their  musical  pro- 
pensities, as  does  the  French  horn  swung  round  the  shoulder  of 
every  postillion.  Most  of  them  can  blow  them  only  by  way  of 
braying  or  jarring.     Their  tones  are  most  unmusical;   but  all 


1797]  THE   MISSION  TO   PRUSSIA.  203 

must  have,  and  all  must  blow,  the  horn.  There  is  a  colossal 
pedestrian  stone  statue  of  a  warrior  in  complete  armor,  and 
an  old  rusty  iron  sabre  in  his  hand,  standing  before  the  church 
door,  but  with  no  legible  inscription  excepting  the  year  of  its 
date,  1546.  At  Kletzke,  a  miserable  village,  where  we  could 
find  scarce  anything.  We  saw,  however,  at  the  post  house,  a 
small  library,  a  forte-piano,  and  music.  We  lodged  at  separate 
houses  at  Kyritz. 

6th.  We  started  this  morning  at  six,  and  came  in  the  day 
two  stages,  of  four  miles  each,  to  Fehrbellin  and  to  Biizow  ;  the 
last  before  coming  to  the  place  of  our  destination.  Fehrbellin 
is  a  small  town.  At  Biizow,  where  we  arrived  at  eight  in  the 
evening,  the  only  inn  had  only  one  vacant  apartment.  The 
gentlemen  therefore  took  their  lodgings  for  the  night  in  the 
common  bar  room.  Our  road  continues  rather  better,  but  has 
become  woody.  The  principal  part  of  our  last  stage  was 
through  a  pine  forest ;  and  the  trees  are  so  near  the  road  as 
by  their  branches  to  incommode  our  carriage  glasses. 

7th.  Left  Biizow  between  nine  and  ten  this  morning.  No 
hurry  for  a  single  stage  of  three  miles  to  Berlin,  chiefly  through 
pines  and  sands — arrived  just  after  one.  Questioned  at  the 
gates  by  a  dapper  lieutenant,  who  did  not  know,  until  one  of 
his  private  soldiers  explained  to  him,  who  the  United  States  of 
America  were.  From  the  gates  to  the  Custom  House ;  from 
there,  by  special  favor,  to  undergo  Custom  House  inspection 
at  our  own  lodgings.  Went  to  the  Ville  de  Paris.  No  room. 
To  the  Soleil  d'Or,  or  otherwise  the  Hotel  de  Russie,  where 
we  took  our  apartments.  The  Custom  House  officers  took  the 
packages  Poggi  sent  for  the  Prince  Royal,  and  said  they  were 
obliged  to  transmit  them  to  him  themselves.  I  made  no 
objection. 

8th.  Delivered  my  letters  to  Messrs.  Beneke  and  Schickler. 
One  of  the  former  gone  to  Frankfort.  The  latter  received  me 
rather  oddly ;  but  it  may  be  the  custom  of  the  country.  The 
weather  is  cold.  I  wished  for  some  opportunity  to  enquire  the 
mode  of  proceeding  usual  here,  by  foreign  Ministers,  to  obtain 
an  introduction ;  but,  as  upon  former  occasions,  I  was  obliged 
to  grope  my  way  as  I  could.     I  had  one  letter  for  a  foreign 


204  MEMOIRS    OF   JOHN  QUIKCY  ADAMS.        [November, 

Minister,  the  Comte  de  Kalitcheff.  But  he  has  been  gone 
about  three  weeks.  There  are  three  Ministers  for  Foreign 
Affairs.  Sent  this  evening  to  the  eldest,  the  Comte  de  Finken- 
stein,  to  enquire  when  I  can  see  him. 

9th.  Answer  from  Count  Finkenstein,  appointing  five  o'clock 
this  afternoon  to  see  him.  Bookseller  brought  me  some  new 
books,  and  some  containing  information  concerning  this  country. 
At  five  called  upon  Count  Finkenstein.  Delivered  him  a  copy 
of  my  credentials,  and  of  my  power  to  renew  the  Treaty  with 
this  country.  He  received  me  with  great  politeness,  expressed 
the  satisfaction  of  the  King  at  this  mark  of  attention  from  the 
United  States,  but  regretted  that  the  state  of  the  King's  health 
rendered  it  impossible  for  him  to  give  audience  for  the  delivery 
of  my  credentials.  So  I  am  to  be  here  six  or  eight  months 
without  admission.  For  the  King  will  probably  never  recover 
enough  to  give  an  audience,  and  for  a  new  King  there  must  be 
new  credentials.  The  Count  then  told  me  of  my  coming  from 
England,  and  last  from  Hamburg,  of  my  late  mission  to  the 
Hague,  of  my  father,  &c,  &c,  by  way  of  civility,  to  show  me 
he  knew  something  about  me.  He  is  a  very  old  man,  having 
been 'nearly  fifty  years  a  Minister  of  State. 

10th.  At  eleven  this  morning  the  Commandeur  de  Maison- 
neuve  (of  Malta)  called  on  me.  He  has  a  letter  from  the  Grand 
Master  of  the  Order  to  the  President  of  the  United  States,  which 
he  wishes  to  transmit,  together  with  one  from  himself  to  the 
Secretary  of  State.  Had  a  couple  of  hours  of  conversation  with 
him.  At  one  I  called  on  the  Baron  d'Alvensleben,  the  second 
Minister  in  the  department  of  foreign  affairs.  He  told  me  the 
same  thing  with  the  Count  Finkenstein,  upon  the  subject  of  my 
mission,  with  equal  civility.  His  manners  have  an  apparent 
openness,  approaching  to  bluntness,  but  far  from  unpleasing. 
This  is  what  Mirabeau  means  by  t\\Q  fruit  dit  tcrroir.  He  men- 
tioned his  having  known  my  father  and  Mr.  Jefferson.  Said  he 
had  seen  here  too  another  American,  who  had  passed  through 
here  once  or  twice — a  man  with  a  wooden  leg — his  name — 
"  Morris,"  said  I.  "  The  same.  Pray  has  he  any  mission  from 
the  United  States  ?"  "  None,"  said  I.  "  He  had  a  mission  in 
France,  but  was  recalled."     "  What  is  he,  then  ?     For,  to  speak 


1 797-]  THE   MISSION  TO   PRUSSIA.  205 

plainly,  we  have  thought  his  conduct  here  improper."  "I  know 
not  what  his  business  here  has  been;  but  I  saw,  if  I  recollect, 
in  some  newspaper,  that  he  was  charged  with  some  commission 
by  the  British  Government."  "  Why,  to  be  plain  (again),  I 
suppose  him  to  be  un  volontaire  en  politique,  dont  la  mission 
est  de  lui-meme."  I  made  no  reply,  but  recollected  what  the 
French  Representative  Alquier  said  of  Morris  to  me  nearly 
three  years  ago.  M.  d'Alvensleben  further  told  me  that  he 
had  known  my  father  at  the  Hague,  where  he  was  about  nine 
months  Prussian  Minister,  as  he  afterwards  was  at  London.  He 
arrived  in  England  just  at  the  time  the  King  went  mad,  and 
was  from  November  till  May  without  being  able  to  deliver  his 
credentials  ;  in  the  same  case  as  mine  at  present.  He  enquired 
also  how  long  it  would  be  to  receive  answers  to  dispatches 
between  this  and  America — a  sufficient  intimation  of  what  he 
felt,  no  doubt,  a  scruple  to  say :  that  I  must  wait  for  new  cre- 
dentials. 

At  five  in  the  afternoon  I  called  upon  the  Count  de  Haug- 
witz,1  the  third  Minister  of  the  department;  the  office  of  which 
is  at  his  house,  and  he  is  said  to  be  the  real  efficient  Minister. 
He  repeated  with  regard  to  the  mission  the  civilities  and  the 
regret  expressed  before  by  both  his  colleagues — said  he  was 
yesterday  at  Potsdam,  and,  mentioning  my  arrival  to  the  King, 
witnessed  his  regret  at  being  deprived  by  his  extreme  illness  of 
the  pleasure  with  which  he  would  have  received  my  credentials. 
He  observed  further  that  the  present  was  an  embarrassing  and 
painful  moment  to  the  King's  Ministers;  as  the  public  business 
suffered  from  his  illness,  and  the  hopes  with  which  they  had 
long  flattered  themselves  of  his  recovery  had  been  altogether 
disappointed.  He  then  expatiated  upon  the  excellence  of  the 
King's  personal  character,2  and  said  he  was  beloved  extremely 
by  all  his  subjects.     I  took  my  leave. 

1  The  pacific  policy  of  this  Minister,  leaning  to  French  connections,  appeared 
for  a  time  favorable  to  the  interests  of  Prussia,  but  at  last  it  broke  down  completely 
with  the  battle  of  Jena,  and  from  that  date  the  influence  of  Count  Hardenberg 
became  predominant.     Haugwitz  went  into  retirement  in  1S06,  and  died  in  1832. 

2  It  was  doubtless  proper  enough  for  a  courtier  to  eulogize  the  character  of 
his  dying  master  as  earnestly  as  possible,  but  in  view  of  the  unfortunate  dis- 
closures of  the  private  life  of  the  sovereign,  made  by  Mirabeau  in  his  Histoire 


206  MEMOIRS   OF   JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.         [December, 

1 6th.  The  King  of  Prussia,  Frederic  William  II.,  died  this 
morning  at  nine  o'clock,  and  was  succeeded  by  his  son,  third  of 
the  same  name. 

20th.  Met  M.  de  Maisonneuve,  who  mentioned  some  intelli- 
gence from  France  such  as  I  expected.  The  crisis  for  my 
country  cannot  be  avoided.  I  regret  that  my  present  situation 
allows  me  not  to  serve  it  as  I  wish,  and  as  in  others  I  think 
I  ought.  My  duty  I  mean  to  do.  The  rest  must  be  left  to 
Providence. 

23d.  Called  this  morning  upon  Count  Finkenstein  to  deliver 
a  note  for  the  introduction  of  my  baggage  coming  by  water 
from  Hamburg,  and  to  enquire  what  I  am  to  do ;  since  by  the 
death  of  the  late  King,  to  whom  I  was  accredited,  I  am  now 
without  credentials.  With  respect  to  my  baggage  he  says 
there  will  be  no  difficulty ;  and  with  regard  to  an  audience,  the 
department  of  foreign  affairs  had  already  written  to  the  King, 
stating  the  circumstances  under  which  I  am  here,  and  propos- 
ing to  him  to  give  me  an  audience,  as  designated  Minister,  after 
which  I  may  wait  for  credentials  addressed  to  him.  They  had 
not  yet  received  an  answer;  but  when  they  do,  the  Court  will 
inform  me  what  the  determination  of  the  King  is. 

December  3d.  A  message  from  Count  Finkenstein  desiring  to 
see  me  between  five  and  six  this  evening.  ■  I  called  accordingly, 
when  he  told  me  that  the  King  had  determined  to  give  me  an 
audience  as  if  my  credential  letter  had  been  delivered  to  the 
late  King ;  and  that,  if  I  pleased,  I  could  send  it  to  the  depart- 
ment of  foreign  affairs ;  that  the  King  had  not  decided  upon 
the  day  for  the  audience;  probably  it  would  be  in  the  course  of 
the  week ;  but  he,  the  Count,  would  give  me  notice,  as  soon  as 
the  time  should  be  fixed.  He  delivered  to  me  at  the  same  time 
a  letter  of  notification  from  the  present  King  to  the  President, 
Vice-President,  and  members  of  the  Congress  of  the  United 
States,  informing  them  of  his  accession  to  the  throne.  The 
letter  is  in  German,  and  he  gave  me  a  copy  of  it,  together  with 

Secrete,  which  Mr.  Adams  appears  to  have  been  reading  a  few  days  before,  it  must 
have  been  difficult  for  him  to  maintain  his  gravity  at  this  broad  declaration.  The 
public  proceedings  against  the  Countess  of  Lichtenau  were  instituted  by  the  suc- 
ceeding King  almost  immediately  upon  his  accession. 


I797-]  THE   MISSION   TO    PRUSSIA.  207 

an  annexed  French  translation.  M.  de  Maisonneuve  is  to  be 
presented  as  a  stranger.  The  Count  repeated  to  me  again  the 
story  of  his  credentials  from  the  late  Grand  Master  to  the  late 
King;  and  of  his  having  sent  for  new  credentials  from  the 
present  Grand  Master,  &c,  &c,  which  story  he  has  told  me 
every  time  I  have  seen  him  since  my  arrival.  He  has  been 
a  Minister  of  State  these  fifty  years  ;  of  course  is  more  than 
eighty  years  old. 

4th.  Upon  returning  home,  found  that  Count  Finkenstein  had 
sent  for  me  to  call  on  him  again  this  evening  at  half-past  six.  I 
sent  him  this  morning  my  credential  letter  to  the  late  King.  I 
went  to  him  at  the  time  designated.  He  told  me  the  King  had 
fixed  upon  to-morrow,  at  half-past  ten  in  the  morning,  to  give 
me  an  audience,  and  that  I  should  do  well  to  write  to  the 
Courts  of  the  two  Queens  and  the  other  Princes  and  Princesses 
of  the  royal  family  to  enquire  when  they  would  receive  me. 
I  knew  not  to  whom  to  apply.  Called  immediately  upon  M. 
de  Maisonneuve  to  enquire  of  him;  he  was  not  at  home.  Called 
at  the  Danish  Minister's.  He  had  a  houseful  of  company, 
and  I  could  get  no  opportunity  to  enquire  of  him.  Saw  there 
the  Countess  Haugwitz  and  Count  Podewils,  the  Grand  Mar- 
shal of  the  King's  Court.  Found  I  must  go  entirely  by  guess 
and  such  information  as  I  could  get  from  the  address  calender. 

5th.  Sent  round  cards  to  the  Courts  of  the  Princess  Louis, 
Prince  and  Princess  Henry,  Prince  and  Princess  Ferdinand,  the 
dowager  Landgrave  of  Hesse-Cassel,  Princess  Radzivvill,  and  to 
the  Princes  Henry  and  William,  brothers  of  the  King.  At  a  few 
minutes  later  than  half-past  ten,  I  could  not  possibly  go  sooner, 
I  went  to  the  Prince  Royal's  palace,  where  the. King  yet  resides. 
Found  there  Count  Finkenstein,  with  the  two  other  Ministers  to 
be  presented  ;  Count  Zinzendorff,  the  Saxon  Minister,  upon  re- 
ceiving his  new  credentials,  and  a  Minister  sent  from  Hanover 
to  compliment  the  new  King.  They  were  both  introduced  before 
me,  for  which  the  Count  formally  gave'  me,  last  night,  as  a 
reason  that  both  of  them  had  credentials  to  present  and  I  had 
not.  The  old  gentleman's  head  is  full  of  forms  and  precedences 
and  titles,  and  all  the  trash  of  diplomatic  ceremony.  The 
audience  of  the  two  other  Ministers  was  of  about  five  minutes 


2o8  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.        [December, 

each.  My  turn  then  came.  From  the  antechamber  the  Count 
just  entered  with  me  into  the  King's  apartment,  made  his  bow, 
and  withdrew. 

I  then  told  the  King  of  my  arrival  with  credentials  to  his 
father,  and  a  full  power  to  renew  the  Treaty  of  Commerce  ;  of 
the  circumstances  which  prevented  my  delivering  that  letter, 
and  of  my  persuasion  that  the  Government  of  the  United  States, 
immediately  upon  being  informed  of  his  Majesty's  accession, 
would  send  new  credentials  addressed  to  him. 

He  answered  me  that  he  should  be  very  happy  to  maintain 
and  renew  the  friendly  and  commercial  connection  with  the 
United  States ;  and  that  the  commercial  interests  of  the  two 
countries  being  the  same,  such  a  connection  might  be  mutually 
advantageous  with  regard  to  the  renewal  of  the  Treaty.  In  due 
time  and  place  all  proper  attention  should  be  paid  to  the  sub- 
ject. And  he  added  some  of  the  usual  complimentary  expres- 
sions of  interest  and  regard  for  the  United  States.  After  which 
he  enquired  how  long  my  father  had  been  President,  and 
whether  Washington  had  entirely  abandoned  all  connection 
with  the  administration  of  our  affairs.     I  then  withdrew. 

Dined  at  Mr.  Schickler's  with  a  company  of  twenty-five  or 
thirty  gentlemen,  not  one  of  whom  I  knew.  In  the  afternoon  I 
went  round  to  pay  my  visits  by  cards  to  the  Ministers,  &c. 
Upon  returning  home  between  five  and  six,  found  that  the 
Queen  Dowager  had  sent  here  twice,  this  afternoon,  notice  that 
she  would  give  me  an  audience  immediately.  I  went  therefore 
as  soon  as  possible. 

She  said  she  was  happy  to  see  me ;  hoped  I  should  stay 
here  some  time,  and  si  le  bon  Dieu  le  permet,  she  should  be 
glad  to  show  me  any  civility.  Enquired  whether  I  had  been 
before  in  mission  elsewhere,  and  upon  my  answering  yes,  in 
England  and  in  Holland,  she  asked  if  I  had  known  her  daugh- 
ter at  the  Hague — the  hereditary  Princess  of  Orange.  I  said 
I  had  seen  her  once,  as  I  had  arrived  there  only  a  few  days 
before  her  departure.  "Ah  !  yes,"  said  she;  "that  was  another 
very  unfortunate  thing  for  them  ;  particularly  at  such  a  terrible 
season." 

She  looks  like  a  very  good  woman,  and  has  the  reputation 


1 797-]  THE  MISSION   TO   PRUSSIA. 


209 


of  being  really  so.  The  appearance  of  the  King  has  a  great 
degree  of  simplicity;  a  plain  uniform  and  boots;  his  person 
tall  and  thin ;  his  countenance  grave,  approaching  even  to 
severity,  but  often  lighting  up  with  a  very  pleasing  smile.  He 
speaks  rather  quick.  Mirabeau  has  drawn  a  character  of  him 
highly  advantageous  in  his  libellous  letters ;  but  he  was  then 
only  sixteen  years  old.  There  are  some  promising  circum- 
stances at  the  commencement  of  his  reign — some  that  are 
less  so. 

6th.  Could  not  go  out  this  forenoon,  from  an  apprehension 
of  short  notices  for  attendance  at  the  Courts,  like  that  of  yes- 
terday afternoon  at  the  Queen  Dowager's.  Called,  however, 
upon  M.  de  Maisonneuve.  Received  several  answers  from  the 
Princes  in  the  course  of  the  day.  This  evening,  between  five 
and  six,  appointed  to  go  to  the  Princess  Radziwill's.  She  is  a 
daughter  of  Prince  Ferdinand,  and  married  this  Polish  Prince. 
The  visit  was  to  her,  but  I  found  the  Prince  there  also.  Was 
introduced  by  M.  de  Sartoris.  She  rose  from  her  piano-forte 
to  receive  me.  They  both  talked  much  of  Kosciuszko,  with 
great  apparent  regard  and  respect — of  America,  of  General- 
Washington,  and  asked  a  great  number  of  questions  relative  to 
the  United  States,  &c.  Just  as  I  was  going  there,  the  Baron 
de  Rosencranz,  the  Danish  Minister,  called  upon  me,  and  sat 
about  ten  minutes  or  a  quarter  of  an  hour. 

7th.  After  waiting  at  home  all  the  morning,  I  went  at  about 
five  in  the  afternoon,  according  to  appointment,  first  to  the 
Princess  Henry's.  Was  introduced  by  a  Major  de  Beauvre.  She 
was  a  Princess  of  Hesse-Cassel,  and  is  about  seventy  years  old. 
She  made  me  the  common  questions  about  America,  General 
Washington,  &c,  and  enquired  whether  there  were  living  any 
descendants  of  Mr.  Franklin.  Thence  I  went  to  the  Palace  of 
the  Order  of  Malta,  where  the  Prince  and  Princess  Ferdinand 
reside.  She  was  a  daughter  of  the  Markgraf  of  Brandenburg 
Schwedt,  a  cousin  of  the  late  King.  He  is  Grand  Master  of  the 
Order  of  Malta  within  the  Prussian  dominions.  Introduced 
first  to  the  Princess  by  Mons.  de  Sydow,  and  afterwards  to  the 
Prince  by  the  Baron  de  Geertz.  She  made  many  enquiries  con- 
cerning my  country,  and  several  about  my  family  here,  &c. ; 
vol.  1. — 14 


2io  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.         [December, 

talked  a  great  deal  about  Kosciuszko,  with  great  esteem  and 
applause.  The  Prince  observed  that  for  the  last  twenty  years 
my  country  had  become  a  very  interesting  subject  of  observa- 
tion. He,  as  well  as  all  the  rest,  enquired  much  of  the  epidemic 
fever  which  has  again  been  raging  in  Philadelphia  and  other 
parts  of  the  United  States.  They  have  a  few  general  ideas  re- 
specting us  which  they  gather  from  the  newspapers,  which  they 
all  read  very  assiduously.  The  Prince  has  a  habit  of  repeating 
twice  over  all  his  phrases,  and  with  such  rapidity  that  it  is 
very  difficult  to  distinguish  when  he  begins  anew.  He  is  about 
sixty-seven,  and  a  brother  of  the  great  Frederic.1 

Sth.  At  noon  went  by  appointment  and  was  introduced  by  the 
Baron  de  Miinchhausen  to  Prince  Henry.2  He  usually  resides 
at  Rheinsberg,  and  is  now  here  only  upon  the  occasion  of  the 
King's  death ;  after  the  funeral  solemnity  he  will  return.  His 
conversation  discovered  more  knowledge  of  America,  and  a 
mind  more  turned  to  speculation,  than  any  of  the  other  Princes 
whom  I  have  yet  seen.  He  said  that  America  was  a  rising, 
while  Europe  was  a  declining  part  of  the  world,  and  that  in 
the  course  of  two  or  three  centuries  the  seat  of  arts  and 
sciences  and  empire  would  be  with  us,  and  Europe  would  lose 
them  all.  Their  progress  had  been  westward,  beginning  in 
Asja,  and  it  was  natural  that  America  should  have  her  turn. 
But  he  asked  whether  we  should  have  a  centre  of  union  suffi- 
ciently strong  to  keep  us  together,  and  to  stand  the  trials  of 
the  inconveniences  incident  to  republican,  and  especially  to 
federative,  Governments.  He  enquired  after  General  Washing- 
ton, of  whom  he  spoke  in  terms  of  great  respect.  Mentioned 
Franklin,  whose  bust  he  said  he  kept,  and  made  some  enquiries 
respecting  my  father.  He  enquired  also  after  young  Marshall, 
who,  he  said,  had  been  here,  whom  he  had  seen,  and  who  was 
quite  a  joli  garcon.  He  told  me  the  circumstance  upon  which 
Marshall  came  here,  and  which  related  to  the  liberation  of  M. 
de  la  Fayette.  This  Prince  is  turned  of  seventy.  His  name  is 
very  well  known  both  in  Europe  and  America.     His  counte- 

i  Ferdinand,  youngest  brother  of  Frederic  II.,  born  in  1730,  died  in  1S13. 
2  Frederic  Henry  Louis,  brother  of   Frederic  II.,  and  only  second  to  him  in 
military  reputation,  born  January  18,  1726,  died  August  3,  1802. 


1 797-]  THE   MISSION  TO  PRUSSIA.  211 

nance  has  strong  marks  of  the  features  which  distinguished  that 
of  his  yet  greater  brother.  I  believe  that  Mirabeau  has  done  him 
great  injustice.  At  half-past  one,  at  the  time  fixed,  went  and 
was  presented  by  the  Comte  de  Wintzingerode  to  Madame  the 
dowager  Landgrave,  who  is  a  fine  woman  ;  a  sister  of  the  Prin- 
cess Ferdinand.  She  wears  a  star  of  the  Order  of  St.  Catherine, 
instituted  by  the  late  Empress  of  Russia.  Stayed  to  dinner,  as 
I  had  been  invited.  The  company  consisted  of  the  Duke  of 
Brunswick  and  his  second  son,  the  Landgrave  of  Hesse-Cassel, 
Prince  Augustus,  youngest  son  of  Prince  Ferdinand,  and  each 
of  these  accompanied  by  a  gentleman  attendant.  There  was 
also  the  Minister  of  State,  Struensee,  the  new  Minister  from 
Hanover,  and  the  Charge  d'Affaires  from  the  same  Court,  the 
Baron  d'Ompteda,  the  Marquis  Parella,  Sardinian  Minister,  and 
his  lady,  the  Baron  de  Reede,  formerly  Minister  from  Hol- 
land, and  his  lady,  a  Russian  Princess  Menzikoff,  and  one  or 
two  other  Russian  officers,  General  Riedesel,  in  the  service  of 
the  Duke  of  Brunswick,  and  well  known  in  the  American  War 
as  having  been  captured  with  Burgoyne  at  Saratoga.  A  list  of 
names  is  all  that  such  an  occasion  affords.  The  dinner  was 
perfectly  elegant,  and  every  thing  discovered  taste  rather  than 
cost.  I  wished  to  have  observed  something  more  than  the 
countenance  of  the  Duke  of  Brunswick.  Baron  Riedesel 
talked  with  me  much  about  America,  and  enquired  particularly 
about  General  Schuyler,  of  whose  treatment  to  him  at  the 
time  when  he  was  taken  prisoner  he  spoke  very  highly.  We 
sat  down  to  dinner  soon  after  two ;  a  late  hour  here,  where 
they  usually  dine  between  one  and  two.  About  two  hours  at 
table.  Home  before  five.  Half  an  hour  after,  went  as  ap- 
pointed, and  was  introduced  to  the  hereditary  Princess  of 
Orange,  at  the  royal  palace,  where  she  has  apartments.  I 
saw  her  once  before,  at  the  Hague.  She  looks  now  as  if  she 
had  met  with  misfortune  since  then;  as  she  really  has.  This 
place  is  but  a  refuge  to  her,  and  her  residence  is  far  from  being 
so  pleasant  as  that  of  the  Vieille  Cour. 

9th.  Received  this  morning  a  ticket  of  admission  for  the 
funeral  solemnity  fixed  for  the  nth.  Waited  at  home  the 
whole  morning.     Visit  from  Lord  Elgin,  the  English  Minister. 


212  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.         [December, 

Says  he  shall  not  attend  at  the  ceremony  on  Monday,  because 
it  will  be  necessary  to  go  too  early  in  the  morning — at  seven  or 
eight  o'clock. 

ioth.  The  guards  from  Potsdam  came  into  town  this  morn- 
ing. The  King  and  Court  went  out  to  meet  them.  Saw  them 
pass.  The  finest  regiment  I  ever  saw.  Evening  and  supper  at 
Prince  Ferdinand's.  Played  at  reversi  with  a  lady  and  two 
gentlemen  whom  I  did  not  know.  Neither  the  Prince  nor 
Princess  supped  at  table.  Their  son,  Prince  Augustus,  did  the 
honors.  I  knew  none  of  the  company  except  the  gentlemen 
of  the  Princes  and  M.  de  Maisonneuve.  Prince  Radziwill  was 
there  part  of  the  evening.  Prince  Ferdinand  asked  me  whether 
there  was  not  yet  a  great  connection  between  America  and 
England.  Upon  my  saying  there  was,  he  replied  that  if  it  had 
not  been  for  the  folly  and  caprices  of  the  King  of  England,  he 
supposed  the  connection  would  never  have  been  broken.  I 
said  the  King  of  England  had  certainly  been  badly  advised 
at  that  time.  "And  indeed,"  said  the  Prince,  "  he  is  as  much  so 
now,  for  continuing  this  war."  The  Princess  again  eulogised 
Kosciuszko. 

i  ith.  Rose  very  early,  for  the  purpose  of  attending  the  funeral 
solemnity  at  church.  Went  there  between  seven  and  eight. 
The  church  was  hung  round  with  black  cloth,  and  illuminated. 
The  description  of  this  pageantry  is  not  worth  making.  But  it 
may  be  observed  that  upon  a  pyramidal  column,  over  which 
stood  a  bust  of  the  deceased  King,  was  an  inscription  in  Ger- 
man, purporting  that  "  Frederic  William  II.,  after  a  reign  dis- 
tinguished by  magnanimity,  clemency,  and  uprightness,  father 
of  his  country,  was,  on  the  16th  of  November,  1797,  taken  from 
the  midst  of  his  faithful  people,  to  pass  through  the  shades  of 
death  to  the  sunshine  of  immortality."  The  music,  as  appeared 
to  me,  was  indifferent.  The  funeral  dirge  was  performed  as  the 
coffin  was  brought  into  church  and  placed  upon  a  sort  of 
throne  or  theatre  erected  for  it,  and  through  which  it  was  let 
down  into  the  tomb.  There  was  nothing  in  the  coffin,  for  the 
real  burial  took  place,  without  any  pomp  or  show,  within  a 
week  after  the  King's  decease.  The  procession  came  from  the 
palace,  and  reached  the  church  at  about  eleven.     The  dirge, 


I797-]  THE  MISSION  TO   PRUSSIA.  21 3 

after  proper  lamentation  and  celebration  of  the  late  royal  vir- 
tues, closed  by  a  change  to  notes  of  joy  and  mirth,  proclaiming 
the  virtues  no  less  conspicuous  and  anticipating  glories  no  less 
splendid  from  the  reign  of  the  present  monarch.  It  was  about 
one  before  we  could  get  away  from  the  church.  In  the  box  or 
pew  reserved  for  foreign  Ministers  were  those  of  Russia  (Count 
Panin),  Denmark  (M.  de  Rosencranz),  Sardinia  (Marquis  Pa- 
rella  and  his  lady),  Saxony  (Count  Zinzendorff),  Mentz  (Count 
Hatzfeld),  the  Hanoverian  Ministers,  and  one  other.  Those  of 
the  Emperor,  France,  Spain,  England,  Portugal,  Sweden,  &c., 
were  not  there. 

17th.  This  was  the  day  fixed  for  the  Queen  to  hold  her  first 
Court.  I  wrote  in  the  morning  to  her  Chamberlain,  Monsr.  de 
Schilden,  requesting  him  to  present  me  at  the  Court.  Received 
an  answer  between  four  and  five  that  she  would  give  me  audi- 
ence at  a  quarter  before  five,  immediately  before  the  Court  of 
Condolence.  I  accordingly  went  at  the  time,  and  found  a  very 
numerous  assemblage  of  people  at  the  Court.  Found  some 
difficulty  to  meet  with  M.  de  Schilden,  who  at  length  intro- 
duced me.  The  Queen's *  conversation  was  altogether  of  lamen- 
tation at  the  death  of  the  late  King.  Immediately  after  the 
audience,  the  Court  was  held — that  is  to  say,  the  doors  of  the 
apartment  were  thrown  open;  the  Queen  appeared  sitting, 
and  her  ladies  attendant  behind  her;  the  people,  assembled 
in  promiscuous  order,  entered  the  apartment,  went  up  in  suc- 
cession not  very  regular,  and  every  person,  after  making  one 
bow  to  the  Queen,  which  she  returned  in  her  seat,  withdrew 
through  a  door  opposite  to  that  of  entry.  The  whole  business 
was  over  soon  after  six,  and  I  returned  home  for  the  evening. 

1 8th.  Between  six  and  seven  went  to  the  cercle  held  at  the  Prin- 
cess Henry's.  It  is  held  every  Monday.  The  company  large. 
The  Princess  talked  of  the  weather.     The  hereditary  Princess 

1  Louisa,  daughter  of  the  Duke  of  Mecklenburg-Strelitz,  born  March  10,  1776, 
married  to  the  King  December  24,  1793,  experienced  a  season  of  suffering  and 
trial  not  often  the  lot  of  a  Queen,  but  which  has  exalted  her  into  a  heroine  in  the 
memory  of  the  nation,  and  given  her  name  a  permanent  place  in  history.  The 
monument  erected  to  her,  surmounted  by  the  statue  of  the  artist  Rauch,  at  Char- 
lottenburg,  is  the  most  interesting  object  visited  by  strangers  at  Berlin.  She  died 
July  19,  1810. 


214  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [January, 

of  Orange  said  the  Court  of  yesterday  was  no  convenient  oc- 
casion for  making  acquaintances.  Played  reversi  with  the  Mar- 
quise Parella,  Madame,  and  Mr.  Caillard,  the  French  Minister, 
whom  I  had  seen  seventeen  years  ago  at  St.  Petersburg.  At 
nine  we  retired,  as  the  usage  at  this  Princess's  Court  is  for  the 
foreign  Ministers  not  to  stay  to  supper. 

19th.  Letter  this  morning  from  the  Comte  Keyserling,  in- 
forming me  that  the  Princess  Louis  would  see  me  at  five 
o'clock  in  the  afternoon.  Went  accordingly  at  that  time,  and 
was  introduced  by  the  Countess  de  Briihl  and  the  Comte  de 
Haack.  This  Princess  is  sister  to  the  Queen,  and  widow  of  the 
King's  next  eldest  brother.  He  died  about  a  year  ago.  She 
is  under  twenty,  and  has  three  children.  She  and  the  Queen 
are  both  handsome.  She  talked  about  America,  and  said  she 
had  read  M.  Vaillanfs*  travels,  which  were  very  interesting, 
and  it  made  her  quite  sorry  when  she  heard  that  he  told  nothing 
but  lies.  The  Countess  de  Briihl  asked  me  whether  I  did  not 
think  the  ceremony  on  Sunday  at  Court  extremely  ridiculous. 

26th.  Evening  at  Count  Zinzendorff's,  the  Saxon  Minister. 
He  has  a  similar  card  party  every  Tuesday.  There  were 
nearly  a  hundred  persons  present.  Almost  all  played  at 
cards,  of  which  in  two  rooms  there  were  nineteen  tables.  Con- 
versation with  the  Marquis  de  Llano,  a  Spanish  gentleman 
whom  I  met  there.  Whist  with  Madame  de  Wulknitz,  Madame 
de  Liitzow,  and  the  Baron  de  Haagen.  His  lady  told  me  the 
Princess  Henry  enquired  for  me  last  evening  a  cors  ct  a  cri.  I 
thought  I  might  for  once  indulge  myself,  and  omit  going,  with- 
out its  being  noticed.  Spoke  to  Baron  Alvensleben.  These 
parties  resemble  exactly  those  of  the  French  Minister  Noel  at 
the  Hague.  They  are  the  same  as  tea  and  card  parties  almost 
everywhere. 

January  4th,  1798.  Evening  and  supper  at  Prince  Ferdi- 
nand's. Madame  the  Landgravine  there.  Prince  Charles  of 
Nassau  (Wcilbourg).  Other  company  not  numerous.  The 
Prince  conversed  with  me  some  time  on  the  subject  of  America; 

1  The  Princess  doubtless  referred  to  the  travels,  just  then  published,  of  Francis 
Le  Vaillant  in  the  interior  of  Africa,  and  perhaps  confounded  that  country  with 
America. 


i798.]  THE  MISSION  TO   PRUSSIA.  2I$ 

enquired  where  Mr.  (Fitz)  Morris,  as  he  called  him,  mean- 
ing Gouverneur  Morris,  is  now ;  said  he  had  acted  here 
more  like  an  Englishman  than  an  American,  and  had  made  a 
formal  proposition  from  the  British  Government  (from  Pitt,  was 
his  word)  to  this  Court  to  renew  the  war  with  the  French 
Republic.  Played  whist  with  Madame  de  Bredow,  General1 
,  and  a  Polish  Count,  Unruh.  At  supper  a  Mademoiselle 
de  Borck  took  the  likeness  of  the  Prince  of  Nassau  with  a 
pencil;  showed  me  a  book  containing  a  number  of  likenesses 
which  she  has  taken  in  the  same  manner,  all  of  them  extremely- 
well  done. 

5th.  Attended  the  ball  this  evening  at  the  Minister  Baron 
de  Heinitz's.  The  King,  Queen,  and  all  the  younger  part  of 
the  royal  family  were  there.  The  company  very  numerous. 
About  twenty  or  twenty-five  couples  of  dancers.  The  Queen 
danced  all  the  time.  The  ball  began  soon  after  six,  and  was 
over  between  nine  and  ten,  according  to  the  custom  of  the 
country,  where  they  universally  keep  very  good  hours. 

6th.  Attended  the  ball  this  evening  at  the  Minister  Baron 
Alvensleben's.  The  same  company  as  that  of  last  evening: 
the  King  dances  only  the  first  dances.  There  is  little  real 
enjoyment  at  such  parties  as  these  ;  they  appear  equally  tedious 
to  all  the  company.  The  associates  are  not  well  sorted.  Re- 
spect on  one  side  and  condescension  on  the  other  are  not  the 
ingredients  of  social  pleasure.  There  is  stiffness,  coldness, 
formality,  politeness,  labored  affability,  studied  attention,  and 
every  thing  except  that  mutual  abandon  (to  use  a  French 
phrase)  which  constitutes  the  charm  of  conviviality. 

14th.  At  Court  this  evening  to  a  ball  and  supper.  The 
forms  vary  from  those  of  a  common  Court.  All  the  royal 
connections  were  there.  Stayed  to  make  the  bow  to  the  Queen 
at  supper,  which  M.  Caillard  says  is  necessary.  Caillard,  by 
the  way,  is  remarkably  civil  to  me.  He  is  curious  to  find  out 
what  I  am  doing  here.  Luckily,  there  is  nothing  to  discover. 
He  took  an  opportunity  very  adroitly  to  enquire  whether  I 
write  in  cypher;  and  how  I  send  my  letters.  Whist  with 
Madame  de  Liitzow,  Mile,  de  Haagen,  and  a  Count  Moltcke. 

1  Left  blank  in  the  original. 


2i6  MEMOIRS    OF   JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [May, 

M.  de  Maisonneuve  told  me  that  the  Chevalier  d'Araujo  had 
been  arrested  and  confined  in  the  Temple  at  Paris,  notwith- 
standing his  official  character. 

1 8th.  At  the  play  in  the  evening — Palmira,  Princess  of  Persia, 
a  German  translation  of  an  Italian  opera.  The  scenery  was 
magnificent,  the  music  pretty  good,  the  performers  tolerable, 
the  house  small  and  very  badly  lighted.  The  royal  box  in 
front  of  the  stage  was  full  as  it  could  hold.  The  King,  Queen, 
and  all  the  younger  part  of  the  royal  family  were  there.  Upon 
the  Queen's  entrance  the  company  in  the  boxes  rose,  and  she 
bowed  complaisantly  all  round.  No  sort  of  notice  was  taken 
of  the  King  when  he  came  in,  and  he  kept  altogether  at  the 
hindmost  part  of  the  box.     Play  over  before  nine. 

30th.  Ball  this  evening  at  General  Kunheim's.  There  were 
more  than  five  hundred  persons  present.  The  crowd  excessive. 
It  was  the  anniversary  of  the  General's  birthday,  he  being  sixty- 
six  years  old,  and  also  of  fifty  years'  service  in  the  army.  There 
was  a  ceremony  upon  the  occasion ;  a  transparent  picture,  a 
burning  altar,  young  girls  to  strew  flowers  and  crown  him 
with  a  garland,  and  a  speech  made  to  him  by  an  officer  in  the 
name  of  his  regiment. 

May  2 1  st.  This  and  the  two  following  days  were  destined 
for  the  grand  annual  reviews  of  the  troops.  I  went  this  morn- 
ing at  about  four  o'clock.  The  review  lasted  till  between  ten 
and  eleven.  There  were  five  regiments  of  cavalry,  of  twelve  hun- 
dred men  each,  and  ten  regiments  of  infantry,  of  two  thousand 
men  each.  The  review  is  had  upon  an  open  plain  about  two 
English  miles  out  of  town.  The  troops  are  in  admirable  con- 
dition, and  exhibit  a  very  fine  appearance.  Upon  my  return 
found  a  message  from  Count  Finkenstein  to  meet  him  at  one 
o'clock.  Went  accordingly,  and  delivered  him  a  copy  and  trans- 
lation of  my  new  credentials.  He  told  me  that  they  would  this 
evening  make  their  report  to  the  King,  in  order  that,  if  possi- 
ble, I  might  have  an  audience  to  deliver  them  before  the  King 
leaves  town  for  Prussia,  which  will  be  on  Friday.  He  said 
Count  Haugwitz  had  mentioned  the  circumstance  this  morning, 
having,  he  knew  not  how,  received  information  of  it,  and  they 
had  determined  to  make  their  report  this  evening. 


1798.]  THE  MISSION   TO   PRUSSIA.  217 

22<±  Out  upon  the  field  again  this  morning  between  five  and 
six.  The  reviews  and  manoeuvres  were  continued,  but  finished 
between  nine  and  ten,  earlier  than  yesterday.  On  my  return 
home  visited  Baron  Alvensleben,  to  mention  the  receipt  of  the 
new  credential  to  him.  He  said  the  King  was  so  overbur- 
dened with  business  that  it  might  perhaps  be  impossible  for 
me  to  have  the  audience  to  deliver  them  before  his  return  from 
Prussia. 

June  1st.  Dined  at  the  Minister  Struensee's  with  Marshal 
Mollendorff,  Prince  Repnin,  and  a  company  of  twenty  persons. 
The  conversation  was  much  upon  military  subjects.  There 
was  rather  a  studied  than  a'  natural  cordiality  between  the 
principals.  They  talked  a  great  deal — Prince  Repnin  especially 
not  a  little,  for  the  sake  of  talking.  A  curious  discussion  was 
started,  upon  the  difference  which  there  would  be  in  the  art  of 
war  if  armies  required  no  provisions.  The  Prince  thought 
light  horse  preferable  to  heavy  cavalry.  Mollendorff  did  not 
take  much  part  in  this  conversation,  but  drank  his  champagne. 

19th.  This  morning  finished  Gesner's  Death  of  Abel.  It 
seems  to  be  meant  as  a  sequel  to  the  Paradise  Lost.  It  maybe 
called  a  pretty  thing,  but  it  is  unfortunate  in  calling  Milton's 
poem  so  frequently  to  the  mind.  The  descriptions  of  rural 
scenery  are  beautiful,  for  the  author  was  more  painter  than 
poet.  The  sentiments  good,  but  too  uniformly  consisting  of 
tenderness  and  affliction  ;  too  soft  and  tearful.  The  characters 
of  Adam  and  Eve  closely  imitated  from  Milton  ;  of  Cain  and 
Abel,  original  and  well  contrasted ;  of  their  wives  Mehala  and 
Thirza,  not  discriminated  enough.  The  celestials  are  messen- 
gers, without  distinctive  marks,  and  Anamelech,  the  fallen 
spirit  who  prompts  the  atrocious  deed,  a  pigmy  devil  indeed 
compared  with  Milton's  rebel  angels.  Besides  which,  he  meets 
with  no  punishment  for  his  infernal  project,  in  which  he  is 
completely  successful,  and  from  which  he  issues  triumphant. 
Evening  an  hour  at  what  they  call  a  picnic.  A  company  meet 
at  a  public  house  in  the  Park,  take  tea  in  the  open  air  under  a 
sort  of  bower  in  the  garden.  Each  guest  pays  eighteen  gr. 
for  his  fare,  though  invited  by  a  gentleman  and  lady,  who 
undertake  to  receive  the  other  company  as  host  and  hostess. 


2i8  MEMOIRS    OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [July, 

A  number  of  them  take  this  office  by  turns.     This  evening  it 
was  Count  Zinzendorff  and  the  Countess  de  Castell. 

July  3d.  Called  on  Count  Finkenstein,  at  his  request,  this 
afternoon  at  six  o'clock.  He  said  the  King  had  fixed  on 
Thursday  at  half-past  ten  in  the  forenoon  to  give  me  an  audi- 
ence for  the  delivery  of  my  letters  of  credence,  and  apologized 
for  the  long  though  necessary  delay.  The  audience  is  to  be  at 
Charlottenburg.  I  am  to  ask  audiences  likewise  of  the  Queen, 
and  afterwards  of  the  Queen  Mother,  if  she  remains  in  town. 
I  am  to  send  a  memorial  to  the  department  concerning  the 
renewal  of  the  Treaty,  referring  to  the  powers  which  I  commu- 
nicated last  winter.  The  department  of  finance  will  be  con- 
sulted, but  all  will  go  through  that  of  foreign  affairs.  The 
Count  said  I  should  do  well  to  wait  until  the  next  week,  for 
they  were  at  present  occupied  with  a  thousand  little  minutiae 
relative  to  the  ceremony  on  the  6th,  which,  though  trifling  and 
insignificant  in  themselves,  required  an  indispensable  attention. 
The  homages  belonged  properly  to  the  department  of  the  fiefs 
held  by  M.  de  Werder;  but  there  were  numerous  references  to 
the  other  departments,  so  that  they  were  all  employed.  He 
asked  me  if  I  had  received  an  invitation  to  attend.  I  had,  this 
morning.  He  enquired  whether  I  had  any  news  from  home. 
Told  him  as  late  as  7th  May,  principally  relating  to  our  situa- 
tion with  France,  which  I  presumed  was  known  to  him.  He 
had  seen  the  late  publications  on  both  sides.  The  accounts 
appeared  to  represent  an  open  rupture  as  probable.  I  told  him 
that  Talleyrand's  performance  finished  by  an  assurance  that  the 
Directory  wished  to  live  at  peace  with  America;  that,  notwith- 
standing the  very  hostile  temper  apparent  through  all  the  rest 
of  the  publication,  if  this  closing  assurance  was  true,  peace 
would  be  preserved,  for  it  was  ardently  desired  by  the  Ameri- 
can Government.  He  hoped  it  would  ;  for  at  least,  if  so,  it 
would  be  one  war  the  less  (une  guerre  de  moins).  I  told  him 
that  the  present  situation  of  things  suggested  the  alterations 
which  I  should  have  to  propose  in  the  Treaty,  as  the  principles 
practised  upon  by  the  maritime  powers  required  some  such 
measures.  He  said  that  as  to  these  principles  of  navigation  they 
were  at  present  un  pen  en  I' air,  but  every  disposition  would  exist 


1798.]  THE  MISSION  TO   PRUSSIA.  2IQ 

here  to  prove  the  friendship  and  good  will  of  this  Government 
towards  the  United  States,  and  to  make  such  arrangements  as 
might  be  advantageous  to  the  subjects  of  both  nations. 

5th.  I  went  to  Charlottenburg,  and  entered  the  palace  as  the 
clock  struck  half-past  ten.  Three  other  Ministers  were  ap- 
pointed at  the  same  time — the  new  French  Minister  Sieyes, 
the  Comte  de  Schall,  from  the  Elector  of  Bavaria,  and  the  Com- 
mandeur  de  Maisonneuve,  from  Malta.  I  arrived  the  last  of 
all,  and  was  of  course  the  last  introduced.  I  presented  to  the 
King  my  letters  of  credence,  and  repeated  the  motives  of  my 
mission,  which  I  had  mentioned  to  him  at  my  first  audience 
last  winter.  At  the  same  time  I  presented  the  compliments  of 
my  Government,  of  condolence  upon  the  death  of  the  late  King, 
and  of  felicitation  upon  his  own  accession  to  the  throne.  He 
answered  me  with  kindness,  assured  me  of  his  sincere  friend- 
ship for  the  United  States,  and  said  he  was  happy  to  see  me 
now  fully  accredited  here,  and  hoped  I  should  long  remain 
here;  then  made  some  enquiries  after  my  family  here,  and 
enquired  again  concerning  General  Washington.  Upon  coming 
out  I  found  Sieyes,  whom  I  had  seen  at  the  Hague,  in  the 
month  of  May,  1795,  of  which  I  reminded  him.  He  had  for- 
gotten it.  I  then  went  with  M.  de  Maisonneuve  to  Madame  de 
Voss  to  enquire  when  the  Queen  would  see  us.  She  said  some 
other  day,  of  which  we  should  have  notice.  She  told  us  about 
her  journey,  with  which  she  appears  much  pleased,  and  of  the 
Queen's  carriage  oversetting,  of  the  charming  ladies  and  inex- 
pressible names  they  met  at  Warsaw,  &c,  &c.  We  found  the 
Count  Schall  there.  Returned  immediately  to  town,  and  soon 
after  went  out  to  dine  with  Mr.  Schickler,  at  Strahlau,  about 
three  English  miles  from  Berlin,  the  other  way.  A  large  com- 
pany— thirty-five  persons  at  table,  of  whom  I  had  seen  scarce 
any  before;  among  the  rest,  a' Mr.  and  Mrs.  Hodgson  from 
Amsterdam.  The  situation  of  Strahlau,  a  small  village  on  the 
banks  of  the  Spree,  is  pleasant,  and  resembles  in  a  great  de- 
gree the  country  in  Holland. 

6th.  Between  nine  and  ten  this  morning  went  to  the  royal 
palace,  into  the  hall  called  the  White  Hall,  on  the  third  story. 
We  were  early.    At  about  ten  the  King  went  in  procession  with 


220  MEMOIRS   OF   JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [July, 

his  Generals  and  Ministers  to  the  Dom  Church,  and  heard  a 
sermon.  At  about  twelve  he  returned,  escorted  as  before, 
entered  the  hall,  and  ascended  a  throne  prepared  in  it  for  him. 
His  brothers,  Henry  and  William,  stood  on  his  right  hand. 
The  Princes  Ferdinand,  Augustus,  and  Prince  Radziwill  on  his 
left.  Further  on  the  right  the  principal  generals  and  aides-de- 
camp of  the  King.  On  the  left  the  Ministers.  In  front,  in 
boxes  partitioned  off,  the  deputations  from  the  magistrates  of 
the  several  provinces.  In  a  box  at  the  right,  all  the  foreign 
Ministers  and  their  Secretaries.  In  one  at  the  left,  all  the 
other  foreigners  present.  In  a  small  gallery  at  one  corner  of  the 
hall  were  the  Queen,  the  Queen  Mother,  and  Princesses.  The 
Minister  de  Reck  began  by  a  speech  addressed  to  the  deputies, 
which  was  answered  by  the  president  of  the  deputations,  Arnim 
de  Suckow.  Then  a  secretary  read  the  oath  of  allegiance, 
which  was  afterwards  repeated  word  by  word  by  all  the  depu- 
ties, and  closed  with  three  cheers  of"  Long  live  Frederic  William 
III."  Then  one  of  the  Ministers  read  the  act  signed  by  the 
King,  declaring  on  his  part  that  he  will  maintain  all  the  rights 
and  privileges  of  the  respective  states.  After  which  the  Min- 
ister Alvensleben  read  the  list  of  favors  granted  on  this  oc- 
casion. The  three  cheers  were  the  signal  for  the  sounding 
of  the  trumpets  and  kettle-drums,  and  the  firing  of  twenty-four 
guns  without  the  palace.  From  thence  the  King  went  down  one 
floor,  entered  under  a  canopy  upon  a  balcony  fronting  the  public 
square,  where  the  same  ceremony  was  repeated,  and  the  oath 
taken  by  the  deputations  of  the  citizens.  The  people  in  and 
around  the  square  in  front  of  the  palace  must  have  amounted 
to  fifty  thousand  persons.  It  was  all  over  before  one  o'clock, 
when  the  King  sat  down  to  dinner  with  upwards  of  twelve 
hundred  persons.  As  I  was  retiring  through  the  White  Hall, 
I  found  the  Queen  Mother  seated  with  her  ladies  of  honor. 
She  called  me  to  her,  and  said  she  would  take  leave  of  me 
there.  I  had  sent  last  evening  to  know  when  I  could  wait 
upon  her,  with  my  compliments  upon  the  renewal  of  my  cre- 
dentials. She  goes  out  of  town  this  evening.  The  day  passed 
without  any  unpleasant  accident.  All  illuminations  for  the 
evening  had  been  forbidden. 


1798.]  THE   MISSION  TO   PRUSSIA.  221 

7th.  There  was  a  great  ball  given  at  Court  this  evening.  I 
received  in  the  morning  from  the  Queen's  chamberlain,  the 
Baron  de  Schilden,  notice  that  she  would  give  me  a  private 
audience  at  six  in  the  evening,  just  before  the  ball.  Went 
accordingly  at  the  time,  and  met  in  the  antechamber,  as  at 
Charlottenburg,  the  Citizens  Caillard  and  Sieyes,  the  Count 
Schall,  and  the  Commandeur  de  Maisonneuve.  We  were  suc- 
cessively introduced  into  the  great  hall,  at  the  further  extremity 
of  which  stood  the  Queen,  with  all  her  ladies  stationed  behind 
her.  I  made  my  compliment  in  a  very  few  words,  which  she 
returned  in  as  few.  The  audience  of  all  five  of  us  did  not  take 
more  than  a  quarter  of  an  hour.  After  it  was  over  I  went  up 
into  the  ball-room,  which  was  the  same  White  Hall  where  the 
homage  was  yesterday  performed.  The  company  was  very 
large.  The  Court  before  the  ball  lasted  about  half  an  hour ; 
the  dancing  until  about  ten  o'clock.  Whist  with  Madame  de 
Saldern,  the  Baron  de  Heinitz,  and  Count  Lendorf.  After 
finishing  our  party,  had  conversation  with  various  persons — 
the  Prince  of  Orange,  Otto,  M.  Sartoris,  Gallatin,  Robert  Fagel, 
&c.  Soon  after  the  Queen  sat  down  to  supper  I  came  away. 
Sieyes  did  not  appear  to  be  pleased  with  his  evening. 

August  6th.  At  about  five  in  the  afternoon  we  started  for 
Potsdam.  Mr.  Childs  was  with  us,  and  in  company  with  us 
three  English  gentlemen,  Messrs.  Kent,  Jarratt,  and  Hamilton 
— the  first  a  clergyman,  who  accompanies  Jarratt  upon  his 
travels.  He  is  the  son  of  a  wealthy  Jamaica  planter.  Mr. 
Hamilton  is  a  young  man,  going  to  pass  some  time  at  Got- 
tingen.  William  Brown  and  my  brother  went  on  horseback. 
We  arrived  at  Potsdam  before  nine  in  the  evening.  The  dis- 
tance four  German,  about  sixteen  English,  miles,  in  two  stages. 
The  road  very  good — a  turnpike  made  at  great  expense  over 
the  sands  of  the  country.     We  lodge  at  the  sign  of  the  Hermit. 

7th.  Took  the  whole  forenoon  to  see  the  various  objects  of 
curiosity  in  and  round  Potsdam.  The  gallery  of  pictures  not 
a  large  collection,  but  containing  some  very  good  paintings  of 
the  first  masters  in  the  Flemish  and  Italian  schools.  The 
palace  of  Sans  Souci,  with  an  imitation  of  ruins  built  in  the 
midst  of  a  hanging  wood  on  the  side  of  a  hill  about  a  quarter 


222  MEMOIRS   OF   JOHX  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [August, 

of  a  mile  distant  from  it.  This  was  a  favorite  residence  of 
Frederic  II.,  and  behind  the  palace  are  buried  his  dogs,  each  of 
them  being  honored  with  a  grave-stone.  There  are  several 
writing-chambers,  and  libraries  in  two  of  them,  which  he  was 
wont  to  use.  The  books  were  all  French,  many  of  them  trans- 
lations from  Greek,  Latin,  Italian,  and  English  authors,  but  not 
so  much  as  the  name  of  a  German.  The  Belvedere  is  a  small 
building  like  a  summer-house,  near  Sans  Souci,  commanding 
an  extensive  prospect.  The  new  palace,  a  large  and  expensive 
one,  built  by  Frederic  II.  just  after  the  close  of  the  Seven 
Years'  War,  to  prove  (so  they  say)  that  his  resources  were  not 
exhausted.  The  Marble  Palace,  so  called  because  partly  con- 
structed of  that  material,  was  built  by  the  late  King,  and  is 
not  yet  completed.  It  is  internally  the  most  convenient,  and 
most  in  a  modern  style ;  rather  elegant  than  superb.  The  late 
King  died  there,  and  in  one  of  his  apartments  we  found  still 
a  bust  of  the  Countess  of  Lichtenau.  We  saw  near  it  the 
house  in  which  she  was  for  some  months  confined  after  his 
death.  In  the  garden  we  saw  a  couple  of  buildings  externally 
like  a  peasant's  hut,  and  a  rough  grotto  with  handsome  and 
well-furnished  apartments  within.  In  the  palace  were  a  number 
of  antique  statues,  purchased  in  Italy,  by  order  of  the  late 
King,  in  the  year  1791.  It  was  near  four  o'clock  when  we 
returned,  quite  fatigued,  to  our  inn. 

8th.  Saw  the  guards  performing  their  usual  exercises  in  the 
palace  garden  at  eleven  this  morning.  Went  upon  the  steeple 
of  the  garrison  church,  from  which  there  is  an  extensive  and 
very  beautiful  prospect.  But  we  could  not  see  the  monuments 
of  Frederic  William  I.  and  Frederic  II.,  who  are  buried  there 
under  the  pulpit.  We  went  over  the  Orphan  House.  The 
dining-hall  and  bedrooms  are  quite  decent.  There  are  about 
four  hundred  boys,  and  not  quite  so  many  girls,  here,  from  six 
to  fourteen  years  of  age,  after  which  they  are  put  out  as  ap- 
prentices to  trades.  We  were  detained  here  some  time  by  a 
severe  thunder-shower.  It  prevented  us  also  from  returning 
this  evening,  as  we  had  intended,  to  Berlin.  In  the  afternoon 
we  went  to  see  the  manufacture  of  small  arms,  belonging  to 
Schickler;  but  the  barrels  are  made  at  Spandau.  We  saw  them 


1798.]  THE   MISSION  TO   PRUSSIA.  22$ 

only  bore  a  touch-hole  and  make  a  breech-pin.  We  finished 
the  day  by  going  over  the  palace  in  the  town,  which  contains 
scarcely  anything  of  remark — nothing,  indeed,  but  another 
of  Frederic  II. 's  libraries,  consisting  entirely  of  French  books. 
We  opened  a  volume  of  his  own  works,  and  fell  upon  a  poem 
in  which  he  says, — 

"  Et  les  charmans  accords  d'Horace 
M'ont  fait  Poete  malgre  moi." 

But  from  the  appearance  of  all  his  libraries,  it  must  have  been 
the  charming  translation  of  Sanadon  that  inspired  him,  for  in 
all  his  collections  there  was  not  an  original  Horace  or  any 
other  classical  author  to  be  found.  We  observed  here,  too,  a 
picture  of  Dido  and  ^Eneas  that  was  tolerable.  The  figure  of 
Cupid,  in  the  shape  of  Ascanius  in  the  lady's  lap,  was  good. 

October  21st.  Evening  and  supper  at  Madame  d'Engestrom's. 
About  twenty-five  persons, — a  small  company  here, — among 
the  rest  the  Archbishop  of  Gnesen,  who  delights  in  telling 
anecdotes  of  Frederic  II.  Told  us,  among  the  rest,  of  his 
ordering  a  statuary  to  furnish  him  with  a  Theseus  abandoned  by 
Ariadne.  The  sculptor  told  him  it  must  be  Ariadne  abandoned 
by  Theseus.  "  No  objections,  if  you  please,"  said  the  King, 
"  but  do  the  business  as  you  are  ordered." 

December  7th.  Called  upon  Prince  Augustus  this  afternoon, 
and  found  him  at  home.  He  is  well  informed  upon  the  current 
topics  of  the  time,  and  discovers  much  moderation  in  his  sen- 
timents. Afterwards  went  to  see  Count  Haugwitz,  by  appoint- 
ment. He  told  me  he  had  a  double  regret  in  having  been 
obliged  to  delay  so  long  an  answer  to  my  application  for  per- 
mission to  export  arms ;  and  at  last  the  answer  is  not  such  as 
he  could  wish.  The  permission  cannot  be  granted,  because 
the  King's  own  troops  will  want  all  that  the  manufacture  can 
produce  for  a  year  to  come.  I  had  likewise  considerable  con- 
versation with  him  upon  the  ministerial  answer  to  my  last  note. 
He  agreed  to  everything.  It  is  his  universal  practice  always 
to  say  yes.  But  I  have  learned  by  constant  experience  that 
there  is  not  the  smallest  dependence  to  be  placed  upon  what 
he  says.     I  never  have  relied  upon   him,  for  he  has,  as  Mira- 


224  MEMOIRS    OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.         [December. 

beau  says  of  the  Duke  of  Brunswick,  une  grande  reputation 
de  faussete,  and  never  was  reputation  more  merited.  He  con- 
curred this  time  so  decisively  in  every  objection  I  made,  that 
I  much  question  whether  his  next  official  answer  will  yield  in 
any  one  point.  I  shall  soon  try.  He  appeared  very  much 
irritated  against  the  French  Government,  and  spoke  in  particu- 
lar about  their  late  decree  to  treat  as  pirates  all  neutral  subjects 
in  the  English  or  Russian  naval  service  who  may  fall  into  their 
hands,  with  a  bitterness  which  in  another  man  would  have  been 
an  evidence  of  sincerity.  I  believe  he  is  in  truth  dissatisfied 
with  France  just  at  this  moment.  But  she  can  whistle  him 
back  when  she  pleases.  Evening  at  a  ball  at  the  Minister 
Heinitz's.  The  King,  Queen,  and  royal  family  all  there.  No 
supper.     Party  over  at  about  ten. 

ioth.  Dined  at  Dr.  Brown's  with  Prince  Augustus1  and  the 
English  company  now  here.  The  Prince  said  if  he  ever  had 
any  money  of  his  own  he  would  settle  for  life  at  Naples,  where 
he  enjoys  better  health  than  elsewhere.  He  has  a  Dr.  Do- 
meyer  with  him,  from  the  University  of  Gottingen,  in  whom  he 
places  great  confidence.  He  made  many  enquiries  concerning 
the  yellow  fever,  and  said  he  was  not  satisfied  with  any  of  the 
publications  upon  the  subject  that  came  from  America — not 
even  with  that  of  Dr.  Rush,  who  had  shown  distinguished 
talents  in  other  works,  but  who  on  this  occasion  had  not 
reasoned  at  all  with  a  philosophic  mind.  He  appeared  fully 
convinced  that  if  he  were  in  America  there  would  be  no  such 
thing  as  yellow  fever,  or  that  all  its  malignity  would  vanish 
before  his  medical  skill.  At  dinner  he  took  Lord  Talbot  to 
task  for  drinking  heating,  inflammatory  wines,  which  he  told 
him  would  shorten  his  life,  &c.     We  had  music  after  dinner. 

24th.  At  half-past  five  called  again  upon  Count  Haugwitz, 
who  returned  me  my  note  and  desired  me  to  present  it.  He 
said  that  it  must  again  be  referred  to  the  commercial  depart- 
ment ;  but  he  believed  there  would  be  no  difficulty  in  coming 
to  an  arrangement,  and,  for  his  own  part,  he  was  personally 
altogether  of  my  opinion  upon  the  points  mentioned  in  the 
note.     He  afterwards   told  me   the  Government   had  received 

'  Afterwards  better  known  as  the  Duke  of  Sussex. 


1 799-]  THE   MISSION   TO   PRUSSIA.  22$ 

this  day  a  communication  that  the  French  had  made  them- 
selves masters  of  Turin,  seized  the  King  and  sent  him  to  Sar- 
dinia, and  established  a  provisional  government  in  Piedmont. 
The  Count  talked  with  too  much  bitterness  upon  this  business. 
"Infamous  conduct,  unexampled  perfidy,  senseless  policy,"  and 
many  other  epithets  equally  harsh,  he  applied  without  scruple 
or  measure  to  the  French  Government  on  this  occasion.  I 
have  no  doubt  he  is  very  angry,  and  will  be  glad  to  see  Austria 
go  to  war  for  it.  But  then  he  will  come  back  to  the  favorite 
system  of  neutrality. 

31st.  Day.  The  forenoon,  the  same  as  the  months  past.  The 
only  difference  of  the  evening  is,  that  now  we  have  scarcely  one, 
from  one  end  of  the  month  to  the  other,  without  some  engage- 
ment in  company.  This  kind  of  life,  so  contrary  to  that  which 
my  inclination  would  dictate,  is  unavoidable.  The  year  has  not 
in  any  respect  been  a  profitable  one  to  me.  The  only  acqui- 
sition of  any  value  that  it  has  afforded  is  that  of  reading 
German  very  indifferently. 

January  14th,  1 799.  The  first  opera  was  performed  (Atalanta). 
There  are  two  to  be  acted,  each  of  them  four  times,  during  the 
Carnival.  The  performances  are  to  be  on  Mondays  and  Fridays, 
and  are  all  entirely  at  the  King's  expense.  There  are  boxes 
appropriated  to  various  persons  of  distinction — one  for  the 
Cabinet  and  foreign  Ministers.  But  the  Queen  holds  a  sort  of 
Court  in  her  own  box,  at  which  the  foreign  Ministers  make 
their  appearance  in  the  course  of  the  evening.  The  strangers 
who  have  been  presented  at  Court  are  likewise  in  the  Queen's 
box,  which  fronts  the  stage,  and  is  very  large.  The  music  was 
very  good.  The  scenery  beautiful,  but  with  only  two  changes. 
The  dancing  not  remarkable.  The  house  very  handsome,  but 
poorly  lighted.  No  applause  is  permitted.  The  performance 
began  at  about  half-past  five,  and  finished  a  little  before  nine. 

February  13th.  The  Carnival  closed  this  evening  with  a  Re- 
doute,  in  which  a  splendid  quadrille  was  performed  by  the 
Queen,  the  English  Prince  Augustus,  and  most  of  the  per- 
sons of  both  sexes  belonging  to  the  Court.  The  idea  was 
to  represent  the  nuptials  of  Philip  II.  of  Spain  with  Mary, 
Queen  of  England.     The  Queen  took  the  part  of  Mary,  and 

VOL.     I. — 15 


226  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [July, 

Prince  Augustus  that  of  Philip.  The  dresses  were  all  in  the 
highest  style  of  magnificence,  and  partly  conformable  to  the 
usual  dresses  of  that  time — English,  Spanish,  Flemish,  Scots, 
and  Mexicans.  But  the  ladies  could  not  adopt  the  dress  of 
that  period  so  far  as  to  cover  their  bosoms.  The  Queen  first 
entered  on  one  side  of  the  house,  with  her  suite,  and,  after 
walking  round  the  pit,  took  her  stand.  Philip  and  his  attend- 
ants then  came  in  from  the  other  side,  and,  after  a  like  proces- 
sion, took  his  stand  opposite  to  the  Queen.  The  quadrille 
was  then  danced  by  the  whole  company,  after  which  the  two 
parties  joined  in  a  procession,  walked  round  the  hall,  and  came 
into  the  royal  box.  The  whole  was  over  in  half  an  hour,  and 
began  a  little  before  eleven  o'clock.  We  had  been  waiting  for 
it  from  half-past  eight.  The  place  was  then  opened  to  the 
usual  masks  and  dominoes  of  a  Redoute.  We  came  home  at 
about  one. 

May  ist.  Received  from  the  Cabinet  Ministry  their  new 
project  for  a  Treaty.     Busy  with  it  most  of  the  afternoon. 

2d.  Busily  employed  all  day  in  making  out  a  copy  of  the 
proposed  Treaty. 

3d.  Finished  my  copy  of  the  Treaty. 

6th.  Called  at  half-past  twelve  upon  Count  Finkenstein,  and 
delivered  him  the  copy  of  the  Treaty  in  both  languages  ready 
to  be  drawn  up. 

15th.  Evening  party  at  the  Minister  Arnim's.  Spoke  to  the 
Count  Haugwitz  concerning  the  affair  of  the  Jew  Bluch.  He 
told  me  he  had  made  his  report  to  the  King  upon  the  subject 
of  the  Treaty,  and  that  he  expressed  his  satisfaction  that  the 
business  was  drawing  so  near  to  a  conclusion  agreeable  on  both 
parts. 

July  9th.  Received  from  the  Cabinet  Ministers  a  notification 
to  meet  them  on  Thursday,  the  nth,  at  Count  Finkenstein's,  to 
exchange  the  full  powers  and  sign  the  Treaty.  The  Austrian 
Charge  des  Affaires  told  me  he  heard  I  was  negotiating  a  Treaty 
of  Commerce  here. 

Ilth.  lam  this  day  thirty-two  years  old.  Went  at  eleven 
o'clock,  according  to  the  notification  which  I  received  from  the 
Cabinet  Ministry,  to  Count  Finkenstein's,  where  I  found  the 


1799-]  THE  MISSION  TO   PRUSSIA.  227 

three  Ministers  assembled,  and  Mr.  Renfuer,  a  counsellor  in 
the  Department  of  Foreign  Affairs.  The  four  copies  of  the 
Treaty,  two  in  English  and  two  in  French,  were  ready,  and  we 
immediately  proceeded  to  exchange  full  powers,  and  then  to 
sign  and  seal  the  Treaty.  I  then  took  them  all  with  me  home 
to  examine  them  and  ascertain  their  accuracy.  In  the  evening 
I  carried  back  and  left  at  Count  Finkenstein's  the  copies  which 
are  to  remain  here. 

15th.  Very  busily  employed  the  whole  day,  writing  letters. 
Evening  at  Bellevue.  Prince  Ferdinand  asked  me  how  the 
King  of  England  looked  when  my  father  was  first  presented  to 
him  as  American  Minister.  I  said  he  assured  him  of  his  friend- 
ship for  the  United  States.  "  I  should  not  much  trust  in  such 
assurances,"  said  he.  I  said  we  could  trust  in  them  as  far  as  it 
was  the  King's  interest  to  observe  them.  "  It  was  the  King's 
caprice,"  said  the  Prince,  "and  Lord  North's  which  occasioned 
the  American  Revolution."  He  has  said  the  same  thing  to 
me  before.  He  hates  most  cordially  the  King  of  England — I 
know  not  why. 

17th.  At  about  four  this  afternoon  I  set  out,  with  Mrs.  Adams, 
Epps,  Whitcomb,  and  Andre,  from  Berlin.  We  rode  only  three 
miles,  to  Mittenwalde,  where  we  arrived  between  eight  and 
nine  in  the  evening,  and  lodged  at  the  post  house.  The  soil 
of  the  country  through  which  we  came  was  sandy  and  poor ; 
yet  we  saw  a  great  deal  of  grain,  chiefly  rye,  standing.  Mrs.  A., 
though  somewhat  unwell  part  of  the  stage,  bore  the  ride  much 
better  than  I  had  expected.  The  inns  upon  these  German  roads 
are  seldom  good ;  they  are  not  much  travelled,  and  when  they 
are,  the  travellers  generally  go  night  and  day.  The  mistress 
of  the  post  house  seemed  to  study  to  appear  still  more  dis- 
obliging than  she  really  was.  She  said  it  was  impossible  to 
give  us  more  than  one  room,  or  more  than  two  beds.  Mam'- 
selle,  she  said  (meaning  Epps),  must  sleep  in  the  same  room 
with  us,  and  lie  upon  straw.  The  Duchess  of  Courland  had 
stopped  at  the  house,  and  made  no  difficulty  to  lie  upon  straw, 
and  she  (the  Postmistress)  could  surely  not  take  the  beds  of 
her  own  people  in  the  house  to  accommodate  us.  I  desired 
her  by  no  means  to  give  herself  any  trouble,  and  told  her  we 


228  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN   QUINCY  ADAMS.  [July, 

would  suit  ourselves  altogether  with  a  single  chamber  and  two 
beds ;  after  which,  of  her  own  accord,  she  gave  a  second  room 
and  another  bed,  with  straw  for  Epps.  The  Postmaster  en- 
quired after  the  news,  and  talked  politics,  which  in  these  coun- 
tries is  uncommon. 

1 8th.  Somewhat  before  seven  this  morning  we  left  Mitten- 
walde,  and  went  a  stage  of  three  German  miles  to  Baruth.  We 
arrived  just  at  noon.  About  half  way  between  the  two,  we 
passed  a  bridge  over  a  small  ditch,  with  a  column  near  it, 
marking  the  boundary  line  between  the  Mark  of  Brandenburg 
and  the  Electorate  of  Saxony.  At  three  we  left  Baruth,  and, 
after  travelling  one  stage  of  three  miles  more,  arrived  at  Liickau, 
which  is  a  small  city.  The  inn  at  Baruth  was  worse  than  the 
post  house  at  Mittenwalde ;  we  could  get  no  vegetables,  and 
the  master  of  the  house  told  us  that  it  was  yet  too  early  either 
for  peas  or  potatoes.  At  Liickau  we  found  no  better  fare,  and 
the  beds  were  bad.  We  put  up  at  a  house  in  a  large  square, 
in  the  middle  of  which  was  a  church,  where  we  soon  heard 
the  evening  prayer  sung  by  some  charity  boys,  accompanied 
by  an  organ;  and  afterwards  a  man  blew  a  horn  for  about 
half  an  hour  uncommonly  well.  The  land  has  been  this  day 
as  indifferent  as  that  which  we  traversed  yesterday,  and  as 
much  covered  with  corn  of  various  kinds. 

19th.  I  had  very  little  or  no  sleep,  and  was  continually  dis- 
turbed by  the  clock  of  the  church  in  the  square,  which  struck 
every  quarter  of  an  hour.  Between  five  and  six  we  left  Liickau, 
and  went  two  miles  to  Sonnenwalde,  thence  three  miles  to 
Elsterwerde,  and  thence  two  miles  to  Grossen-Hayn.  About 
halfway  between  Sonnenwalde  and  Elsterwerde  we  met  Count 
Panin  returning  from  Carlsbad  in  great  haste,  upon  business, 
to  Berlin.  He  gave  us  a  formidable  account  of  the  last  stage 
between  Dresden  and  Toplitz.  We  arrived  at  Grossen-Hayn, 
which  is  a  small  city,  at  about  eight  in  the  evening,  and  stopped 
at  a  better  inn  than  any  that  we  have  hitherto  found.  As  we 
advance  into  Saxony  the  soil  grows  better,  though  we  have 
found  a  great  proportion  of  sand  through  the  principal  part  of 
this  day  too.  The  land  is  everywhere  as  much  cultivated  as 
its  nature  will  admit. 


1 799-]  THE   MISSION  TO   PRUSSIA.  22Q 

20th.  Slept  very  well,  though  in  beds  upon  the  floor,  and 
between  sheets  not  altogether  clean.  The  beds  at  inns  in  Ger- 
many are  all  extremely  narrow  and  very  short ;  so  that  only 
one  person  can  lie  in  them,  and  he  not  at  full  length.  They 
use  only  an  under  sheet,  and  have  neither  blankets  nor  cover- 
lets. Their  bed  covering  is  a  light  feather  bed,  with  a  linen 
case,  like  a  pillow  case,  drawn  over  it.  Their  pillows  have  gen- 
erally no  case,  but  a  piece  of  linen  eighteen  inches  or  two  feet 
square  sewed  upon  one  side  of  the  pillow,  and  therefore  very 
seldom  washed.  We  left  Grossen-Hayn  at  about  nine  this 
morning,  and  after  a  ride  of  four  miles  with  a  very  good  road, 
we  arrived  at  Dresden  just  at  two  o'clock,  and  stopped  at  the 
Hotel  de  Pologne.  The  country  this  day  has  been  very  beau- 
tiful and  in  high  cultivation.  There  could  not  be  a  more  favor- 
able time  of  the  year  to  observe  a  land  well  tilled  than  the 
present.  Every  spot  of  ground  capable  of  producing  anything, 
all  the  way  from  Berlin,  is  loaded  with  some  harvest.  Wheat, 
rye,  oats,  barley,  buckwheat,  tobacco,  cabbages,  and  potatoes 
cover  the  ground  in  constant  reciprocal  succession.  There  are 
likewise  a  few  meadows,  where  we  found  the  people  making 
the  hay ;  a  few  pastures  full  of  cattle,  and  some  spots  where 
there  were  flocks  of  sheep.  Perhaps  a  quarter  part  of  the 
way  consisted  of  pine  forests,  producing  absolutely  nothing 
else.  The  corn  found  in  greatest  quantity  is  rye.  In  the 
afternoon  I  purchased  a  description  of  Dresden  in  the 
French  language,  and  walked  a  little  round  the  town  with 
Mrs.  Adams. 

2 1  st.  Went  with  Mrs.  Adams  at  one  to  Mrs.  Errington's  lodg- 
ings. Left  her  and  took  a  walk  about  the  town.  The  princi- 
pal remarkable  objects  are  a  very  handsome  bridge  over  the 
Elbe,  which  separates  the  old  from  the  new  town  of  Dresden; 
the  Catholic  Church,  or  Elector's  Chapel,  communicating  with 
the  Electoral  Palace  ;  the  Zwinger,  a  set  of  buildings  forming 
a  square,  which  are  in  a  bad  taste  of  architecture — used  to  con- 
tain a  museum,  and  an  orangery,  and  several  churches.  It  is 
a  rule  to  cross  the  bridge  always  on  the  right  hand,  of  which  I 
was  reminded  by  a  sentinel.  In  a  square  beyond  the  bridge  is 
an  equestrian  statue  of  the  Elector  Augustus  the  Second  in 


230  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [July, 

bronze  gilt.  I  went  into  the  church  of  the  new  city,  where  I 
found  the  religious  service  performing. 

22d.  Just  after  ten  this  morning,  Mr.  Errington  called  and 
went  with  me  to  the  gallery  of  pictures,  where  I  spent  a  couple 
of  hours  in  looking  over  them.  It  is  one  of  the  finest  collec- 
tions in  Europe,  and  requires  to  be  more  leisurely  viewed. 

24th.  At  four  this  morning  we  left  the  Hotel  de  Pologne, 
which  is  an  excellent  inn.  The  postmen  are  remarkably  punc- 
tual here,  and  they  require  the  same  punctuality  on  the  part  of 
travellers.  We  passed  through  the  Elector's  garden,  and  arrived 
in  two  hours  at  Zehist,  a  stage  of  two  German  miles.  The  road 
is  the  best  we  have  had  the  whole  way  from  Berlin.  From 
thence  to  Peterswalde,  which  is  only  a  stage  of  two  miles,  we 
were  four  hours  and  a  half  upon  the  road,  which  was  very  hilly. 
Just  before  we  reached  Peterswalde  we  passed  the  boundaries 
between  Saxony  and  Bohemia,  and  had  our  trunks  plumbed  by 
the  Austrian  officer  of  the  customs.  Soon  after,  we  met  the 
Countess  de  Castell,  who  was  returning  from  Toplitz  to  Berlin, 
by  the  way  of  Dresden,  and  who  told  us  she  had  this  morning 
left  the  apartments  engaged  for  us.  From  Peterswalde  to  Top- 
litz is  a  stage  of  three  miles,  which  the  descent  of  the  Geyers- 
berg,  a  mountain  very  long  and  very  steep,  renders  extremely 
tedious  and  too  dangerous  to  remain  in  the  carriage.  Women 
are  carried  in  arm-chairs  by  two  men,  like  sedans.  The  rest 
of  us  walked.  The  descent  I  suppose  to  be  about  three  English 
miles  long.  About  two-thirds  of  the  way  down  are  the  ruins 
of  an  old  castle.  The  view  from  the  mountain  is  grand  and 
rugged,  but  you  see  no  water.  Toplitz  is  about  three  miles 
distant  from  the  bottom  of  the  hill.  We  arrived  about  a  quar- 
ter of  an  hour  before  seven  in  the  evening,  after  a  very  fatiguing 
day.  We  lodge  at  the  sign  of  the  Black  Horse,  in  a  house 
belonging  to  a  Doctor  Ambrosi. 

25th.  As  we  were  going  out  this  forenoon  to  walk,  we  met 
Count  Golowkin,  who  was  coming  to  see  us.  He  walked  with 
us  over  Prince  Clary's  garden,  which  is  spacious  and  handsome. 
At  two  we  dined.  After  dinner  paid  a  visit  to  Countess  Golow- 
kin, and  afterwards  to  Madame  de  Marschall,  who  lodges  in  the 
same  house  with  us,  in  the  chamber  over  us.    At  five  we  went  to 


1 799-]  THE   MISSION  TO   PRUSSIA.  2}I 

the  tea  party,  which  is  given  by  different  persons  every  day  at 
the  hall  in  the  Prince's  house.  It  was  this  day  given  by  a  Count 
and  Countess  de  Kollowrat,  to  whom  Count  Golovvkin  and  his 
lady  introduced  us.  We  were  likewise  here  presented  to  the 
Grand  Duchess  Constantine  of  Russia,  and  to  her  father  and 
mother,  the  Prince  and  Princess  of  Saxe-Coburg,  and  their  un- 
married daughter  ;  likewise  to  the  Prince  Reuss,  the  father  of 
the  late  Austrian  Minister  at  Berlin,  and  to  several  other  per- 
sons. We  found  also  some  old  acquaintances — Prince  Charles 
of  Nassau  Weilburg,  Madame  de  Blumenthal  and  her  daughters, 
the  Chevalier  de  Villenotte,  Mile,  de  Ruville,  &c.  We  made  a 
short  stay. 

26th.  Second  anniversary  of  my  marriage  day.  We  took  a 
walk  before  breakfast  upon  the  hill  which  overlooks  the  town, 
and  enjoyed  a  variety  of  prospects.  Walked  again  after  break- 
fast. At  the  tea  party,  which  was  this  day  given  by  Madame 
de  Melnitz,  a  Saxon  lady.  Went  afterwards  to  the  play,  and  saw 
a  comedy  of  Schroder,  entitled  "  The  Ensign."  The  author 
appears  to  be  an  imitator  of  Kotzebue.  "The  Two  Billets," 
translated  from  Florian,  was  likewise  performed,  by  children. 
The  Chevalier  de  Villenotte  told  me  he  had  seen  meatArtaud's 
at  Petersburg  in  the  year  1782.     I  had  altogether  forgotten  it. 

27th.  At  the  tea  party  this  afternoon  about  half  an  hour. 
These  parties  are  dull  and  tedious,  and  are  made  quite  uncom- 
fortable by  the  presence  of  the  Grand  Duchess  and  the  other 
Princes.  Went  again  to  the  play,  which  was  "The  Chess  Ma- 
chine," a  translation  from  the  English,  attempting  at  humor, 
but  with  little  success. 

28th.  Walked  again  before  breakfast,  and  after  it  went  to 
church  to  hear  mass  performed.  The  music  was  very  good, 
but  the  church  so  full  that  we  could  get  no  seats ;  numbers  of 
people  remained  in  the  church  yard  during  the  service,  the 
inside  being  so  crowded  that  they  could  not  get  in.  Were  a 
few  minutes  at  the  tea  party,  given  this  day  by  Count  Golowkin, 
and  afterwards  at  the  play,  an  opera  called  "  The  Mirror  of  Ar- 
cadia;" tolerably  well  performed,  though  most  of  the  singers 
were  indifferent.    The  two  principal  characters  were  very  good. 

30th.  In  the  afternoon  Prince  Clary,  instead  of  giving  his 


232  MEMOIRS    OF   JOHX   QUINCY  ADAMS.        [September, 

tea  party  at  the  Hall,  took  the  whole  company  to  Dopperlburg, 
a  park  belonging  to  him,  about  three  English  miles  from  town. 
The  ride  was  very  agreeable,  and  the  views  of  the  mountains 
around  varied  and  pleasing.  The  tea  and  other  refreshments 
were  given  in  a  small  summer  house  in  the  Chinese  style; 
from  which  we  could  look  into  the  park  and  see  the  numerous 
deer  as  they  ranged  along.  Most  of  the  company  likewise 
took  a  walk  in  the  park.  We  returned  between  seven  and 
eight  in  the  evening.     Part  of  the  company  went  to  the  play. 

September  9th.  Called  in  the  forenoon  to  take  leave  of 
Count  Bruhl.  Between  one  and  two  o'clock,  afternoon,  we  left 
Toplitz  and  rode  to  Aussig,  two  German  miles.  The  roads 
are  not  bad,  and  by  travelling  this  way  we  avoid  altogether  the 
Geyersberg.  Count  Bruhl  had  written  some  time  ago  to  Dres- 
den, to  procure  for  us  a  boat  to  come  and  take  us  at  Aussig 
and  carry  us  down  the  Elbe.  We  found  the  boat  accordingly 
at  Aussig,  and  had  the  carriage  embarked  in  it,  so  as  to  be 
ready  to  go  to-morrow  morning  at  five  o'clock.  Just  before 
we  left  Toplitz,  Countess  Paninand  Countess  Ozarowska  called 
on  Mrs.  A.  We  have  paid  twenty-four  florins  a  week  for  our 
apartments,  consisting  of  five  rooms  upon  a  first  floor,  and  a 
chamber  for  a  servant,  and  having  the  furniture  of  every  kind 
provided  for  us. 

10th.  Just  after  five  o'clock  this  morning,  after  passing  an 
uncomfortable  night  at  the  tavern  at  Aussig,  we  went  on  board 
our  boat,  which  is  built  something  like  a  Dutch  treckschuyt, 
but  is  much  smaller.  We  floated  down  the  river  with  the 
current,  assisted  by  three  rowers.  At  ten  o'clock  in  the  evening 
we  arrived  at  Dresden.  Through  the  greatest  part  of  the  way 
the  river  runs  through  two  very  steep  and  lofty  ranges  of  hills 
and  rocks.  The  towns  of  Tetschen,  Schandau,  and  Pirna,  the 
fortress  of  Konigstein,  one  of  the  strongest  fortresses  in  Ger- 
many, the  Elector's  country  seat  at  the  famous  Pillnitz,  and  a 
country  seat  belonging  to  Count  Thun,  meet  us  on  the  road. 
After  we  passed  the  boundaries  between  Bohemia  and  Saxony, 
we  frequently  passed  people  who  were  hewing  stones  from  the 
immense  rocks  which  border  the  sides  of  the  river,  for  building 
at  Dresden. 


1 799-]  THE  MISSION  TO   PRUSSIA.  233 

I  ith.  Called  early  this  morning  at  the  banker's,  Mr.  Gregory, 
to  have  the  remainder  of  the  Vienna  Bank  bills,  which  I  brought 
from  Toplitz,  exchanged,  which  at  his  counting-house  they 
made  some  difficulty  to  do.  Afterwards  went  with  Mrs.  A.  to 
the  Fair,  which  was  just  closing  as  we  arrived.  We  made,  how- 
ever, some  purchases.  After  dinner  we  called  at  Count  Golow- 
kin's,  at  the  Hotel  de  Baviere.  They  were  two  nights  and 
three  days  coming  from  Aussig  down  the  Elbe.  We  found  at 
his  lodgings  a  large  part  of  the  company  we  used  to  meet  at 
Toplitz  ;  and  also  Mile,  de  Bischofswerder  and  her  mother. 
We  passed  the  evening  at  Mr.  Greathead's,  an  English  gentle- 
man and  family,  to  whom  Mr.  Errington  introduced  us.  As 
we  went  in  we  met  Mr.  Elliot,  the  English  Minister,  coming 
out. 

1 2th.  Walk  before  breakfast  with  Mrs.  A.  in  Count  Bruhl's 
garden.  Their  owner  was  father  of  Count  Briihl,  our  acquaint- 
ance, Minister  to  Augustus,  King  of  Poland,  and  famous  alike 
for  his  extravagant  magnificence  and  for  his  enmity  to  Frederic 
the  Second.  The  ruins  of  a  summer  house  in  the  garden  testify 
the  animosity  at  least  of  Frederic's  troops  against  the  Count; 
as  Dresden  in  general  bears  marks  of  the  sufferings  which 
Frederic  inflicted  upon  it  in  the  Seven  Years'  War. 

13th.  Went  this  morning  to  the  gallery,  and  spent  a  couple 
of  hours  upon  the  Flemish  school.  Mrs.  Errington  went  and 
introduced  me  at  the  Ressource,  where  we  found  Mr.  Elliot, 
who  offered  to  present  me  on  Sunday  next  to  the  Elector,  at 
his  Court,  and  desired  me  to  send  him  visiting  cards,  to  be 
sent  round,  which  I  did  accordingly. 

14th.  Paid  visits  this  morning  to  Mr.  Elliot  and  Count  Zin- 
zendorff,  neither  of  whom  was,  however,  at  home.  Spent  half 
an  hour  in  the  gallery.  At  one,  Mr.  Elliot  called  on  me,  and 
took  me  to  dinner  at  Count  Lose's,  the  Minister  of  Foreign 
Affairs.  It  was  a  dinner  of  ceremony  given  to  Mr.  Bibikoff, 
the  Russian  Minister,  who  has  very  lately  arrived  here  ;  and  as 
he  is  already  recalled  by  his  Government,  it  was  at  the  same 
time  the  dinner  upon  his  taking  leave.  The  company  consisted 
of  about  twenty-five  persons,  several  of  whom  I  knew  before — 
Count  Zinzendorff,  Mr.  and  Madame  de  Bacounin,  Baron  de 


234 


MEMOIRS   OF   JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.        [September, 


Rosencrantz,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Greathead,  and  their  son.  Mr. 
Elliot  came  home  with  me. 

15th.  A  few  minutes  before  noon  I  went  to  the  Electoral 
palace,  and  was  there  presented  by  Mr.  Elliot  to  Prince  Max, 
the  Elector's  brother,  his  wife,  a  Princess  of  Parma,  and  the 
Elector's  sister,  the  Princess  Mary  Ann,  and  afterwards,  by 
an  audience,  to  the  Elector  and  Electress.  Mr.  Bibikoff,  the 
Russian  Minister,  had  at  the  same  time  an  audience  of  leave, 
as  had  Baron  Rosencrantz,  who  has  resided  near  here  through 
the  summer,  and  is  upon  his  return  to  Berlin.  At  four  in  the 
afternoon  I  paid  a  visit  of  form  at  Count  Lose's.  The  Count- 
ess only  was  at  home.  Went  at  five  to  an  assembly  at  the 
Governor's  (of  the  city).  A  numerous  company,  very  much 
resembling  the  usual  societies  at  Berlin.  I  came  away  just 
after  eight,  the  time  at  which  these  assemblies  usually  break  up. 

1 6th.  Was  at  the  gallery  of  pictures  this  morning,  and  con- 
tinued my  examination  of  the  pieces  of  the  Flemish  school. 

20th.  At  the  gallery  again  this  morning,  and  went  regularly 
through  the  Italian  school.  The  great  Raphael  is  undoubtedly 
the  first  picture  in  the  collection. 

22d.  Mrs.  Adams  went  with  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Errington  to  the 
Catholic  church.  At  noon  I  went  first  to  the  cercle  at  Prince 
Maximilian's  (the  Elector's  younger  brother),  and  afterwards 
to  that  of  the  Elector  himself.  Afterwards  dined  with  the 
Elector,  who  invites  alternately  his  own  and  the  foreign  Minis- 
ters every  other  Sunday.  Passed  the  evening  at  Mr.  Elliot's, 
with  a  large  company.  Countess  Panin  was  there.  Stayed  to 
supper. 

23d.  Went  this  morning  with  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Errington,  Mr. 
Artaud,  and  Mr.  Oliver  to  see  what  is  called  the  Electoral 
treasure,  consisting  of  a  numerous  collection  of  articles  in  silver, 
gold,  and  precious  stones.  The  jewels  of  state  which  belonged 
to  the  Elector's  ancestors  when  Kings  of  Poland,  and  are  now 
worn  upon  great  occasions  by  the  Elector  himself,  are  the  most 
valuable  of  these  splendid  baubles.  Of  diamonds,  rubies,  gar- 
nets, emeralds,  sapphires,  onyxes,  &c,  &c,  there  was  no  end.  A 
green  diamond,  weighing  one  hundred  and  twenty-nine  grains, 
is  said  to  be  the  only  one  of  its  kind  in  Europe.     There  are 


1799]  THE  MISSION  TO   PRUSSIA.  235 

numerous  sword-hilts,  cane-pommels,  epaulets,  buckles,  hat- 
loops,  stars  and  crosses  of  the  Order  of  the  Golden  Fleece, 
buttons,  ladies'  necklaces,  ear-ring's,  and  breast-knots,  consisting 
entirely  of  brilliants  or  rose  diamonds.  The  value  of  this 
treasure  is  estimated  at  fifteen  millions  of  dollars. 

28th.  Was  again  at  the  gallery  of  pictures  this  forenoon  ;  and 
in  the  afternoon  with  Mrs.  Adams,  to  take  our  leave  of  it.  On 
Monday  it  closes  for  the  season.  I  have  here  had  leisure  to 
view  one  of  the  finest  collections  extant  of  the  Italian  and 
Flemish  schools,  more  attentively  than  I  had  ever  an  opportu- 
nity before.  It  has  given  me  a  little  further  insight  into  the 
principles  and  history  of  the  art,  or  rather  has  served  to  con- 
vince me  how  little  I  knew  of  them  before,  and  how  little  in  so 
short  a  time  it  is  possible  to  acquire. 

29th.  Went  to  the  Catholic  church  and  heard  mass  per- 
formed. It  is  a  very  elegant  edifice,  and  is  adorned  internally 
with  many  altar-pieces  by  Raphael  Mengs,  whom  the  Germans 
consider  as  the  greatest  of  modern  painters.  The  great  altar- 
piece,  being  the  ascension  of  Christ  in  presence  of  the  Apos- 
tles, is  his  masterpiece.  After  church  we  took  a  ride  to 
Planeschengrund,  about  three  miles  out  of  town,  and  where 
the  landscape  is  very  pretty. 

30th.  We  went  this  morning  with  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Errington  to 
see  the  public  library,  which  is  in  the  Japanese  Palace,  over  the 
bridge.  The  building  is  spacious  and  elegant.  The  library 
occupies  two  stories — the  first  and  second  floors.  It  contains 
one  hundred  and  fifty  thousand  volumes,  and  in  historical, 
theological,  and  classical  books  is  very  well  furnished.  They 
have  a  great  number  of  valuable  manuscripts,  none  of  which 
were,  however,  shown  to  us.  There  is  a  collection  of  several 
thousand  Bibles  of  various  editions  and  in  all  languages.  One 
of  them,  printed  at  Mentz,  by  John  Fust,  in  1464,  was  shown  to 
us  as  the  first  edition  ever  printed.  There  was  a  Universal 
Lexicon,  or  Encyclopedia,  in  German,  sixty-four  volumes  in 
folio,  printed  thirty  years  before  the  French  Encyclopedia,  and 
probably  the  most  voluminous  work  of  the  kind  ever  published. 
In  the  cellars  of  this  building  we  saw  a  great  collection  of 
Saxon,   Japan,    and    Chinese   porcelain,    of  which    there    was 


236  MEMOIRS   OF   JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [October, 

nothing  curious  but  some  specimens  of  the  oldest  porcelain 
made  in  Saxony,  the  secret  for  the  composition  of  which  is  now 
lost.  We  were  also  shown  several  pieces  of  tapestry  worked 
with  the  figures  of  Raphael's  cartoons. 

October  1  st.  Went  this  morning  to  the  Catholic  church  to  hear 
the  obsequies  of  the  late  King  of  Poland,  the  Elector's  grand- 
father, performed.  I  suppose  it  is  an  annual  solemnity  upon 
the  anniversary  of  his  death.  The  church  was  partly  hung 
with  black  ;  and  the  Elector,  with  his  family  and  Court,  ap- 
peared in  mourning.  The  music  was  very  good.  Called 
afterwards  on  Count  Bruhl,  but  did  not  find  him.  Countess 
Werthern  and  her  daughter  paid  a  visit  to  Mrs.  A.  Mrs. 
Fylidtzch,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Errington,  at  tea ;  and  Mr.  Artaud, 
who  likewise  passed  the  evening  with  us,  and  told  us  much  of 
his  travels  and  adventures  in  Italy. 

2d.  We  went  this  morning  with  the  intention  to  see  the 
Cabinet  of  Antiques  at  the  Japanese  Palace.  But,  the  Inspector 
being  out  of  town,  we  were  obliged  to  defer  the  sight  for  an- 
other day.  We  saw  the  magazine  of  porcelain  from  the  manu- 
facture at  Meissen,  which  is  not  equal  to  that  of  Berlin.  And, 
after  that,  we  saw  the  collection  of  models  in  plaster  of  Paris 
taken  from  all  the  finest  antique  statues.  The  collection  was 
made  by  Mengs,  and  is  larger  than  any  I  have  seen  before. 
There  are  likewise  some  of  the  models  from  works  of  modern 
sculptors :  Michael  Angelo,  Bernini,  Fiamingo,  &c.  In  the 
evening  we  went  to  the  Italian  Opera,  which  opens  this  night 
for  the  season.  They  perform  three  nights  a  week  through  the 
season,  chiefly  comic  operas.  This  evening  it  was  Le  Donne 
Cambiate,  or  the  Ladies  Metamorphosed — exactly  the  story  of 
the  English  farce  called  the  Devil  to  Pay.  The  performers  are 
in  general  good,  and,  as  well  as  the  music,  so  much  superior  to 
any  thing  I  have  heard  for  years,  that  I  was  very  much  delighted 
with  the  entertainment. 

3d.  We  went  with  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Errington  to  Konigstein. 
Took  four  horses  with  our  own  carriage,  and  set  out  at  seven 
in  the  morning.  Shortly  before  eleven  we  reached  the  bottom 
of  the  rock.  By  land  it  is  only  three  German  miles  distant 
from  Dresden;  and  the  road,  being  through  Pirna,  is  very  good. 


1 799.]  THE  MISSION  TO   PRUSSIA.  237 

We  went  over  the  whole  fortress,  and  saw  the  arsenal,  the  case- 
mates built  by  the  present  Elector  to  lodge  the  soldiers  in  time 
of  war,  the  great  tun  full  of  wine,  containing,  as  they  told  us,  ten 
thousand  hogsheads,  the  famous  Page's  Bed,  being  a  ledge  not 
more  than  a  foot  wide  upon  the  summit  of  the  rock,  from  which 
the  perpendicular  descent  is  about  two  thousand  feet,  upon 
which  a  certain  page,  named  Robert  von  Griinau,  once,  being 
drunk,  laid  himself  down  and  went  to  sleep ;  he  was  saved  by 
passing  a  band  round  him  while  he  slept  and  drawing  him  into 
the  window  out  of  which  he  had  crept  to  take  his  pleasant 
siesta.  Had  he  waked  of  his  own  accord,  he  could  not  pos- 
sibly have  risen  ;  and  had  he  moved  himself  the  space  of  two 
inches,  he  must  have  gone  over  the  ledge.  This  man,  they 
told  us,  lived  to  the  age  of  one  hundred  and  eight  years, 
having  escaped  one  other  danger  nearly  as  great  as  that  at  this 
spot.  A  horse  upon  which  he  was  riding  leapt  with  him  from 
the  bridge  at  Dresden  into  the  Elbe.  Perhaps  the  greatest 
curiosity  here,  however,  is  the  great  well,  dug  through  the 
rock,  more  than  eighteen  hundred  feet  deep — a  work  of  forty 
years.  They  sent  down  four  lighted  candles  with  one  of  the 
buckets  to  show  the  depth  more  clearly.  The  buckets  are 
drawn  up  and  down  by  a  large  wheel  turned  by  four  men,  who 
are  thus  constantly  employed  in  drawing  water  for  all  the  pur- 
poses of  the  garrison.  The  fortress  is  inaccessible  excepting 
at  one  entrance,  which  is  sufficiently  guarded  by  out-works,  a 
draw-bridge,  a  covered  way,  masked  batteries,  three  gates,  and 
every  other  proper  precaution.  A  garrison  of  eight  hundred 
men  is  sufficient  to  defend  it,  and  it  cannot  contain  more  than 
eighteen  hundred.  During  the  Seven  Years'  War,  while  the 
whole  Electorate  was  in  the  possession  of  the  King  of  Prussia, 
the  Elector's  family,  with  all  the  precious  things  he  had  at 
Dresden,  were  protected  and  preserved  in  this  fortress,  which 
Frederic  never  attacked. 

4th.  At  eleven  this  morning  we  went  to  see  the  collection 
of  antiques  belonging  to  the  Elector,  and  kept  on  the  ground 
floor  of  the  Japanese  Palace.  The  number  of  fragments  is  very 
considerable,  and  of  various  merit;  but  most  of  them  have  been 
repaired  in  modern  times,  that  is,  about  a  century  ago,  at  Rome, 


238  MEMOIRS    OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [October, 

and  the  repairs  are  so  indifferently  executed  that  they  always 
injure  the  remains  of  the  original  itself.  There  are  many  ob- 
jects of  curiosity  in  this  collection ;  but  none  superior  to  three 
statues  of  females  almost  entire,  and  the  very  same  which  were 
first  found  at  Herculaneum  and  led  to  the  discovery  of  the 
place.  One  of  them,  representing  a  walking  vestal,  is  one  of  the 
finest  statues  I  ever  saw.  There  are  likewise  several  mummies 
in  perfect  preservation,  the  same  mentioned  by  Pietro  de  la 
Valle ;  a  number  of  funereal  urns  still  containing  their  ashes, 
a  couple  of  lions  of  Egyptian  sculpture  at  the  earliest  period  of 
the  art,  and  a  Grecian  tripod  nearly  three  thousand  years  old. 
We  wished  to  see  the  medals,  but  the  Inspector  who  attended 
us,  Professor  Becker,  told  us  he  could  not  show  them  without 
an  express  order  from  Count  Marcolini. 

5th.  At  twelve  we  went  to  see  the  Rustkammer,  or  Electoral 
collection  of  arms,  ancient  and  modern,  a  collection  rather  large 
than  remarkably  curious.  Among  the  rest  are  preserved  here 
all  the  dresses  used  at  a  splendid  tournament,  or  Carrousel,  given 
by  the  Elector  Augustus  II.  in  the  year  17 19  as  an  entertain- 
ment to  the  King  of  Denmark.  As  there  are  many  of  the 
armors  worn  formerly  by  the  Electors,  we  had  opportunity  to 
observe  how  very  heavy  they  are.  A  complete  armor  must 
have  weighed  from  one  hundred  and  fifty  to  two  hundred 
pounds.  We  were  also  shown  the  barrel  of  a  pistol,  being  the 
identical  instrument  first  contrived  by  Schwartz,  the  inventor  of 
gunpowder,  to  shoot  it  off. 

6th.  At  noon  attended  the  Court;  was  presented,  for  the  first 
time,  to  Prince  Antony,  the  Elector's  eldest  brother;  and  also 
to  the  Elector  himself,  and  the  other  Princes,  to  take  leave. 
The  Electress  holds  her  Court  from  six  to  eight  in  the  evening; 
but,  as  Mr.  Elliot  does  not  go  this  evening,  I  must  dispense 
with  a  presentation  for  taking  leave,  to  her.  At  this  Court  were 
the  Duke  del  Parque,  a  Spanish  nobleman,  appointed  as  Am- 
bassador to  St.  Petersburg  some  time  ago,  but  who  had  not 
reached  that  post  when  the  Emperor  of  Russia  declared  war 
against  Spain;  the  Duke  of  Holstein-Beck ;  a  nephew  of  the 
Princess  who  resides  at  Berlin  ;  and  the  Count  de  Lodrone,who 
is  going  as  Austrian  Minister  to  Stockholm.     The  two  latter 


1799]  THE  MISSION  TO  PRUSSIA.  2\Q 

stayed  to  dinner.  Had  some  conversation  at  dinner  with  the 
Count  de  Bose,  who  is  director  of  the  theatres ;  he  said  the 
Elector  would  not  permit  such  a  play  as  Kotzebue's  Benjowski 
to  be  performed  here,  on  account  of  its  immorality. 

9th.  The  boasted  punctuality  of  Dresden  post-men  was  this 
time  in  default;  we  had  ordered  our  horses  at  four  in  the 
morning,  and  were  then  ready  for  them.  They  did  not  come 
until  past  five.  We  immediately  set  out  and  went  to  Grossen- 
Hayn,  four  German  miles.  We  arrived  there  at  half-past  ten, 
and,  after  waiting  an  hour  again  for  horses,  proceeded  to  Cos- 
dorf,  three  miles.  We  arrived  there  shortly  before  three.  Dined 
while  the  horses  were  getting  ready,  and  at  four  departed  again. 
At  seven  we  reached  Herzberg,  two  miles,  and  found  very 
good  lodging  at  the  post  house.  We  have  thus  travelled  this 
day  nine  German  miles,  which  we  have  never  done  before. 
The  road  from  Dresden  as  far  as  Cosdorf  is  perfectly  good ; 
after  which  we  begin  again  to  find  them  sandy.  We  took  this 
road  in  order  to  go  through  Potsdam. 

10th.  At  five  this  morning  we  left  Herzberg,  and  went  four 
miles  to  Juterbok ;  where,  owing  to  the  badness  of  the  roads 
(sand  and  mud),  we  did  not  arrive  until  near  noon.  At  one, 
afternoon,  we  again  set  out,  and  reached  Belitz  at  six ;  the  dis- 
tance is  three  miles.  They  kept  us  waiting  here  two  hours  for 
horses.  Belitz  is  the  first  Prussian  town,  and  the  boundaries 
are  just  before  the  entrance  of  the  town.  We  went  two  miles 
further  in  the  evening,  and  reached  Potsdam  at  half-past  eleven. 
We  lodge  at  Henschel's,  the  sign  of  the  Hermit. 

nth.  We  went  this  morning  and  saw  the  gallery  of  pictures 
at  Sans  Souci.  It  is  small,  but  valuable  for  many  excellent 
pictures. 

November  25th.  Evening  at  Princess  Henry's,  and  supped 
there.  Talked  with  the  Marquis  de  Lucchesini  about  Frederic  II.-, 
who,  he  says,  at  the  very  commencement  of  our  revolution  said 
to  him,  "  Les  Americains  ont  echappe  a  l'Angleterre."  He 
thought  it  a  great  fault  that  the  English  did  not  send  a  much 
larger  force  at  once.  Lucchesini  says  he  was  to  have  been  the 
editor  of  Frederic's  works,  but  was  employed  just  at  that  time 
by  the  successor  upon  a  mission  relating  to  the  league  of  the 


240  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [July, 

German  Princes ;  that  there  were  several  passages  in  the  post- 
humous Works  that  were  omitted — particularly  relating  to  the 
Empress  of  Russia,  and  to  Prince  Henry  of  Prussia,  with  whom 
the  King  was  very  much  dissatisfied  at  one  time  on  account  of 
a  secret  negotiation  which  Prince  Henry  had  undertaken  for  a 
cession  of  the  Margraviates  of  Bayreuth  and  Anspach  to  him 
during  the  war  of  1779.  Zimmerman's  anecdotes  are  in  general 
tolerably  accurate,  he  says,  but  oftentimes  receive  a  color  not 
belonging  to  them,  from  the  author's  egotism. 

On  the  17th  of  July,  1800,  Mr.  Adams  started  on  an  excur- 
sion of  some  weeks  to  Silesia,  mainly  for  the  benefit  of  his 
wife,  whose  health  had  never  been  good  at  Berlin.  His  ab- 
sence extended  beyond  three  months,  during  which  period  his 
diary  was  kept  only  in  the  form  of  very  brief  and  uninteresting 
minutes.  This  was  in  a  measure  caused  by  the  fact  that  he 
occupied  much  of  the  leisure  time  in  fulfilling  a  promise  made 
to  his  brother,  who  had  just  left  him  to  return  home,  to  give 
him  some  account  of  a  region  not  at  that  time  visited  by 
Americans,  nor,  indeed,  by  travellers  generally.  The  conse- 
quence was  the  production  of  twenty-nine  letters  in  the  course 
of  the  journey,  all  of  which  were  duly  transmitted  to  Phila- 
delphia, where  his  brother  had  established  his  abode.  They 
were  written  with  all  the  freedom  incident  to  private  communi- 
cations, and  without  an  idea  of  publication. 

But  it  happened  that  just  at  that  time  one  of  the  friends  and 
college  mates  of  this  brother,  Mr.  Joseph  Dennie,  with  whom 
he  had  long  been  intimate,  was  engaged  in  starting  a  period- 
ical publication,  under  the  name  of  the  Portfolio,  at  Philadelphia. 
As  the  letters  followed  each  other  successively,  they  fell  into 
his  hands  and  excited  his  interest.  Fancying  that  they  might 
contribute  attractive  materials  to  promote  the  success  of  his 
project,  he  found  no  difficulty  in  gaining  the  consent  of  the 
recipient  to  insert  them.  Accordingly,  the  first  letter,  dated 
21st  of  July,  1800,  appeared  in  the  opening  columns  of  the 
Portfolio,  issued  on  the  3d  of  January  of  the  next  year,  and  each 
of  the  series  written  during  the  journey  regularly  followed  in 
a  corresponding  number  of  the  issues  of  that  magazine. 


i8oo.]  THE   MISSION   TO   PRUSSIA. 


24I 


This  proceeding  appears  to  have  been  carried  on  without 
the  knowledge  of  the  writer.  After  his  return  to  Berlin,  he 
added  thirteen  letters  more,  in  which  he  comprised  all  that  he 
could  collect  of  information  respecting  the  history  and  re- 
sources of  this  remote  region  from  his  researches  in  that  capi- 
tal. The  date  of  the  last  is  the  17th  of  March,  1801,  about 
four  months  before  his  final  departure.  By  that  time  he  must 
have  known  of  the  commencement  of  the  publication.  But 
even  then  he  could  have  done  little  to  control  it.  Unfortu- 
nately, there  were  a  few  references  to  individuals  and  to  conver- 
sations which,  however  natural  to  commit  to  writing  in  wholly 
private  correspondence,  the  editor  of  that  magazine  himself 
should  have  had  the  delicacy  to  mark,  and  the  discretion  to 
suppress,  as  never  intended  for  the  public  eye. 

Whether  these  passages  ever  came  under  the  observation  of 
the  persons  affected  is  not  certain.  So  long  as  they  remained 
confined  to  the  columns  of  an  American  publication  of  that 
day,  the  probabilities  would  favor  the  negative.  But  they  were 
not  so  confined.  Again,  without  the  knowledge  or  consent  of 
the  author,  an  individual,  unknown  to  him,  but  fully  aware  of 
the  facts  in  the  case,  nevertheless  took  the  collection  from  the 
Portfolio  to  London,  and  there  had  them  printed  for  his  own 
benefit,  in  an  octavo  volume,  in  the  year  1804.  From  this  copy 
they  were  rendered  into  German,  and  published  at  Breslau  the 
next  year,  with  notes,  by  Frederick  Albert  Zimmerman ;  and 
in  1807  a  translation  made  into  French,  by  J.  Dupuy,  was 
published  in  Paris  by  Dentu. 

Thus  it  happened  that  these  letters,  originally  intended  as 
purely  familiar  correspondence,  obtained  a  free  circulation  over 
a  large  part  of  Europe  without  the  smallest  agency  on  the  part 
of  the  author,  or  any  opportunity  to  correct  and  modify  them, 
as  he  certainly  would  have  done  had  he  ever  possessed  the 
power. 

His  own  sentiments  on  this  subject  will  be  found  unequivo- 
cally expressed  in  the  entry  of  his  diary,  20th  September,  1804, 
when  he  first  heard  of  the  publication  in  England. 

Many  years  afterwards  Mr.  Adams  was  sent  in  a  public 
capacity  to  Great  Britain,  and  there  had  occasion  to  meet  once 

VOL.    I. — 16 


242  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUIXCY  ADAMS.  [May, 

more  the  persons  justly  entitled  to  complain  of  this  breach  of 
courtesy.  But  whether  the  facts  connected  with  their  history 
had  long  been  so  well  known  in  society  as  to  make  any  notice 
of  them  matter  of  indifference,  or  so  much  time  had  elapsed 
as  to  bury  the  incident  in  oblivion,  the  fact  is  certain  that  he 
received  from  these  parties  civilities  the  more  sensibly  felt  that 
they  had  not  been  expected  or  sought.  Evidence  of  this  will 
be  found  in  the  diary  for  June,  1816. 

Dresden,  September  15th,  1800. — Went  to  see  the  Electoral 
collection  of  prints,  and  spent  the  forenoon  in  looking  over  a 
series  of  portraits  engraved  by  Bartolozzi  from  designs  by  Hol- 
bein. They  are  all  of  distinguished  English  characters  during 
the  reigns  of  Henry  VIII.  and  of  his  children.  They  are  pub- 
lished by  Mr.  Chamberlaine.  We  likewise  looked  over  a  volume 
of  engravings  from  Raphael,  consisting,  in  a  great  measure,  of 
grotesques  and  arabesques  from  his  fresco  paintings.  There 
are  ten  volumes  of  his  works.  The  collection  of  prints  from  the 
pictures  in  the  gallery  here  is  very  incomplete,  and  in  general 
poorly  executed.  I  took  only  three  of  the  prints.  Paid  a  visit 
to  Mr.  Elliot.  Found  him  confined  with  a  headache.  Had  a 
long  conversation  with  him.  In  the  course  of  it  he  took  occa- 
sion to  speak  of  the  robbery  of  Arthur  Lee's  papers  during  the 
American  war,  which  has  always  been  imputed  to  him.  Pie 
declared  solemnly  that  he  did  not  order  it;  that  it  was  entirely 
the  work  of  a  servant,  through  whom  the  papers  were  brought 
to  him.  He  did  not  read  them  ;  that  the  only  papers  of  con- 
sequence he  found  were  the  draft  of  an  unfinished  Treaty  with 
Spain,  and  a  letter  from  Frederic  the  Second,  or  one  of  his 
Ministers,  promising,  if  any  other  power  would  set  the  example 
of  acknowledging  the  independence  of  the  United  States,  that 
he  would  be  the  second  to  do  it.  He  was  very  much  offended 
at  the  transaction,  and  Mr.  Elliot  was  obliged  to  send  the  man 
who  had  committed  the  robbery  privately  out  of  the  country. 

May  5th,  1S01.  Between  four  and  five  o'clock  this  morning  I 
left  town,  and  went  with  Whitcomb  to  Potsdam.  At  ten  the 
King's  carriage  came  and  took  me  at  the  inn.  The  Minister 
Alvensleben  went  with  me,  and  introduced  me  to  the  audience. 


i8oi.]  THE  MISSION  TO  PRUSSIA.  243 

The  King's  Aid-de-Camp  Kokeritz  was  the  only  person  in 
the  antechamber.  I  delivered  my  letter  of  recall,  and  took 
leave.  The  King  told  me  he  had  been  pleased  at  my  residence 
here,  and  was  well  satisfied  with  my  conduct.  At  eleven 
o'clock  I  had  the  audience  of  the  Queen.  Was  introduced  by 
Mr.  Massow.  Countess  Voss  and  two  maids  of  honor  were 
with  her.  She  repeated  nearly  what  the  King  had  said,  with 
less  appearance  of  saying  mere  formalities.  Talked  about  Si- 
lesia, Switzerland,  sea  voyages,  and  so  forth.  In  less  than  half 
an  hour  all  was  over.  I  returned  to  the  inn ;  wrote  a  letter  to 
my  brother,  to  pass  the  time ;  dined  between  two  and  three, 
and  at  four  set  out  upon  my  return  to  Berlin.  We  reached 
home  about  seven  in  the  evening. 

June  7th.  Continued  to  read  in  Tillotson's  Rule  of  Faith. 
It  is  a  discussion  whether  the  Scriptures  or  tradition  are  the 
proper  rule  of  Christian  faith.  A  great  question  between  the 
Catholics  and  Protestants.  Mrs.  A.  went  to  Charlottenburg  in 
the  forenoon.  I  went  to  see  the  celebrated  monument  erected 
in  honor  of  the  Count  de  la  Marche,  a  natural  child  of  the 
late  King  by  Madame  Rietz.  He  died  at  eight  years  of  age. 
The  figure  of  the  child,  at  full  length,  is  lying  upon  a  bed,  the 
sivord  just  dropped  from  his  hand.  In  the  wall  above  is  a 
niche,  with  the  three  Destinies,  sitting  forms,  rather  larger  than 
human,  submitting  with  reluctance  to  the  decree  they  find 
written,  to  snap  the  fatal  thread.  On  the  long  side  of  the  tomb, 
Time  is  dragging  the  child  along,  to  thrust  him  into  the  pit, 
while  he  struggles  with  backward  looks  to  Minerva,  who  sits 
concerned  at  the  loss  of  so  promising  a  youth.  At  the  two 
end  sides  are  copies  of  the  antique  monumental  figures  of 
Sleep  and  Death.  The  execution  of  this  work,  by  Schadow,  is 
fine.  The  form  of  the  child  upon  the  tomb  is  full  of  grace. 
The  fatal  sisters  are  worthy  of  a  Grecian  sculptor.  The  figure 
of  Time  appears  the  least  deserving  encomium,  but  the  whole 
is  a  masterpiece.  The  Latin  inscription,  inter  alia,  says  the 
child  already  possessed  egregious  virtues.  A  bastard  infant, 
dead  in  his  ninth  year — a  superb  and  costly  monument,  in  a 
Christian  church — and  a  marble  record  of  his  egregious  vir- 
tues !     The  late  King  was  a  man  of  mild  and  amiable  personal 


244  MEMOIRS    OF   JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [July, 

disposition,  and  an  elegant  taste  in  the  arts.  But  his  moral 
feeling,  his  sense  of  what  is  decent  and  becoming — what 
was  it? 

8th.  Writing  the  third  and  last  letter  upon  Mr.  Gentz's  book. 
In  the  evening  I  went  to  the  play,  and  saw  Gustavus  Wasa,  a 
tragedy  by  Kotzebue.  This  is  one  of  the  factious  subjects 
suited  to  the  spirit  of  the  times,  and  the  author  has  treated 
it  accordingly.  His  Christiern  is  not  only  the  most  odious, 
but  the  most  despicable  of  tyrants — at  once  the  bloodiest  of 
butchers  and  the  basest  of  cowards.  His  Arclibishop  of  Upsal 
is  his  only  confidential  counsellor,  equally  wicked,  with  cold 
blood  and  firm  nerves.  His  Ahrendt  Peterson,  the  nobleman 
with  a  fine  castle,  betrays  his  old  friend,  and  shamefully  vio- 
lates the  laws  of  hospitality.  The  models  of  virtue  contrasted 
with  these  characters  are  a  Dalecarlian  peasant  in  extremest 
poverty,  and  the  Burgomaster  of  Lubec,  a  Republican  Hanse- 
town.  Gustavus  himself  does  nothing  for  his  country  through 
the  whole  play.  The  plot  is  that  of  a  common  Harlequin  pan- 
tomime, a  continual  alternation  of  the  hero's  perils  and  escapes. 
His  heroic  achievements  are  confined  to  kneeling  and  praying, 
and  making  one  short  inflammatory  speech  to  the  Dalecarlian 
peasants.     It  is  one  of  Kotzebue's  poorest  plays. 

17th.  At  half-past  seven  this  morning  we  took  our  final 
leave  of  Berlin,  and  came  in  the  course  of  the  day  seven  Ger- 
man miles  to  Fehrbellin.  About  a  mile  before  reaching  the 
town  we  passed  a  small  column,  with  an  inscription  purporting 
that  Frederic  William  the  Great  came,  saw,  and  conquered  on 
the  1 8th  of  June,  1675.  This  was  a  celebrated  battle  in  the 
annals  of  Brandenburg.1 

Hamburg,  July  8th. — At  about  four  o'clock  this  afternoon 
we  went  with  Captain  Wells  on  board  a  lighter  in  the  river, 
and  came  down  to  the  ship  America,  which  we  reached  be- 
tween seven  and  eight  in  the  evening. 

1 2th.  At  about  three  o'clock  this  morning,  the  wind  prov- 
ing fair,  we  got  under  weigh,  and,  without  stopping  at  all 
at  Cuxhaven,  came  at  once  out  to  sea.  The  pilot  left  us  at 
about  six.  Before  eight  we  had  a  sight  of  the  island  of  Heli- 
1  Won  over  the  Swedes. 


i8oi.]  THE   MISSION   TO   PRUSSIA.  245 

goland,  and  before  noon  were  out  of  sight  of  all  land.  The 
weather  through  the  day  was  thick  and  rainy. 

1 6th.  All  last  night  and  this  day  we  had  a  very  fresh  breeze, 
which  carried  us  from  seven  to  nine  knots  an  hour.  In  thirty 
hours'  time  we  had  run  not  less  than  four  degrees  northward. 
The  difference  in  the  length  of  the  day  is  greater  than  I  ever 
witnessed.  Last  night  it  was  dark  by  nine  o'clock  in  the  even- 
ing.    This  night  it  was  still  light  at  midnight. 

17th.  Spoke  this  morning  to  a  Dutch  fishing  boat.  Told  us  we 
were  fourteen  leagues  distant  from  Fair  Island,  bearing  N.N.W. 
But  the  weather,  which  began  to  be  very  foggy  yesterday,  con- 
tinued so  all  this  day,  until  it  became  so  thick  that  nothing  was 
to  be  seen  at  the  distance  of  one-quarter  of  a  mile.  In  this  situ- 
ation, at  about  seven  in  the  evening,  the  land  was  spied  just 
under  the  ship's  bow.  She  was  in  no  small  danger  of  stranding, 
and  had  just  time  to  put  about  and  steer  back  the  way  she  came. 

19th.  The  weather  became  a  little  clearer  this  morning,  and 
we  made  the  land  of  the  Orkney  Islands.  At  about  noon,  a 
small  boat  rowed  up  to  the  ship,  while  about  three  leagues  dis- 
tant from  the  shore.  There  were  five  men  in  the  boat,  one  of 
them  a  young  man,  who,  by  the  captain's  invitation,  dined  with 
us.  He  said  his  name  was  Streng,  and  that  his  father  was  the 
proprietor  of  the  most  part  of  Sanda  Island,  from  which  he 
had  come  to  the  ship. 

The  boat  belonged  to  Fair  Island,  which  lies  about  half  way 
between  the  Orkney  and  Shetland  Isles,  and  distant  about 
twenty-five  miles  from  each.  Two  men  had  come  in  it  to  get 
some  grain,  which  in  Fair  Island  was  very  scarce.  They 
brought  on  board  a  couple  of  lambs,  some  chickens,  and  some 
fish,  both  salt  and  fresh,  for  which  they  would  take  no  money, 
but  asked  for  rum,  tobacco,  fishing-lines,  soap,  old  clothes, 
and,  in  short,  any  thing  we  chose  to  give  them.  Mr.  Streng 
told  us  that  Sanda  was  acknowledged  to  be  the  prettiest  of  all 
the  Orkney  Islands,  and  told  us  how  happy  his  father  would 
be  to  see  us  on  shore.  He  left  us  at  about  two  o'clock,  and 
promised  to  send  us  a  pilot  from  the  shore  as  soon  as  possible. 
But  very  soon  after  he  went  away  a  thick  fog  came  up,  and  we 
were  obliged  to  stand  away  from  the  land. 


246  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN   QUINCY  ADAMS.        [September, 

20th.  Fine  clear  weather  this  morning,  and  we  passed  be- 
tween Fair  Island  and  the  Orkney  Isles  from  the  North  Sea 
into  the  Atlantic  Ocean  ;  the  weather  soon  thickened  up  again, 
and  we  could  only  keep  a  northwest  course. 

31st.  Day.  The  life  on  board  ship  is  so  uniform  that  the  only 
difference  between  one  day  and  another  is  that  of  the  winds. 
I  find  upon  this  passage  what  I  have  observed  upon  others 
heretofore — the  sea  affects  my  head ;  disqualifies  me  from  all 
application  of  mind,  insomuch  that  all  the  time  I  pass  upon 
it  is  in  a  manner  lost  time.  I  cannot  write.  And  though  I 
read  the  more,  I  retain  nothing  of  my  reading.  Retirement 
and  silence  indeed  are  necessary  to  reflection,  and  on  board 
ship  they  are  impracticable.  On  this  passage  I  rise  at  about 
seven  in  the  morning,  breakfast  at  eight,  dine  at  one,  afternoon, 
take  tea  at  six,  and  turn  in  between  eleven  and  twelve  at  night. 
The  intervals  are  all  passed  alike.  When  the  weather  is  fair, 
upon  deck,  gazing  at  the  skies  and  the  waves  ;  and  occasionally 
looking  through  the  spy-glass  at  some  other  vessel  we  chance 
to  see.  The  rest  of  the  time  I  read  ;  but  merely  to  pass  the 
time,  and  with  a  rapidity  proportioned  to  the  weakness  of  atten- 
tion. I  am  just  finishing  the  Lycee,  or  Cours  de  Litterature  of 
La  Harpe,  as  far  as  it  is  yet  published,  that  is  the  fourteenth 
volume.  I  suppose  there  must  be  at  least  seven  more  volumes 
to  come,  and  the  whole  will  not  be  worth  Blair's  Lectures. 
The  book  is,  however,  amusing.  He  has,  indeed,  nothing 
original.  For  his  theory  he  analyses  Aristotle,  Longinus, 
Cicero,  Horace,  Quintilian,  and  Boileau  ;  as  for  the  application, 
he  still  analyses  the  great  writers  of  ancient  and  modern  French 
literature.  This  method  might  perhaps  be  prescribed  by  the 
character  of  the  author's  auditory  at  the  Lyceum,  and  has  its 
use  for  the  reader  ;  but  it  injures  the  work  as  an  elementary 
treatise. 

September  3d.  Early  this  morning  we  again  weighed  anchor, 
and,  with  a  faint  and  irregular  breeze,  proceeded  slowly  up  the 
Delaware  Bay.  In  the  afternoon,  at  Port  Penn,  a  custom  house 
officer  came  on  board.  We  made  a  progress  of  about  seventy 
miles  up  the  bay  and  river  in  the  course  of  the  day,  and 
anchored  about  twenty  miles  below  the  city  at  night.     New- 


iSoi.]  THE   MISSION  TO   PRUSSIA.  247 

castle  and  Wilmington,  the  points  where  the  views  from  the 
river  are  most  beautiful,  we  passed  in  the  evening,  and  could 
not  enjoy  their  fine  prospects. 

4th.  At  seven  in  the  morning  we  passed  Chester,  and  at  the 
Lazaretto,  twelve  miles  below  the  city,  were  visited  by  the 
health  officer ;  the  wind  was  very  light,  and  the  weather  blaz- 
ing with  heat,  as  it  has  been  these  three  days.  About  noon  we 
landed  at  the  wharf  in  Philadelphia,  where  we  were  received  by 
my  brother,  who  had  just  been  informed  of  our  arrival. 

2 1  st.  At  nine  in  the  evening  I  reached  my  father's  house  at 
Quincy.  Here  I  had  the  inexpressible  delight  of  finding  once 
more  my  parents,  after  an  absence  of  seven  years.  This  pleas- 
ure would  have  been  unalloyed  but  for  the  feeble  and  infirm 
state  of  my  mother's  health.  My  parents  received  me  with  a 
welcome  of  the  tenderest  affection. 

30th.  This  has  been  one  of  the  months  of  my  life  in  the 
course  of  which  I  have  gone  through  the  greatest  variety  of 
scenery.  When  it  commenced,  we  were  still  at  sea.  Since 
then  I  have  landed  at  Philadelphia,  parted,  for  the  first  time 
since  my  marriage,  from  my  wife,1  travelled  on  to  New  York 
and  to  this  place,  and  enjoyed  the  luxuries  of  meeting  all  my 
old  friends.  My  mode  of  life  has  of  course  been  altogether 
various. 

1  The  father,  mother,  and  sisters  of  Mrs.  Adams  had  returned  to  Frederictown, 
in  Maryland,  to  which  place  she  was  induced  by  the  proximity  to  Philadelphia  to 
go  at  once,  before  taking  up  her  residence  in  Massachusetts. 


CHAPTER    VI. 

I.    THE     SENATE     OF     MASSACHUSETTS — II.     THE     SENATE    OF    THE 
UNITED   STATES. 

Upon  his  recall  to  the  United  States  from  a  service  of  eight 
years  abroad,  by  reason  of  the  political  revolution  at  home, 
Mr.  Adams  found  himself  obliged  to  resume  the  profession 
into  which  he  had  barely  made  an  entrance  when  he  went 
away.  Of  course  he  could  not  fail  to  experience  the  dis- 
advantage to  him  of  so  long  an  absence  at  the  most  critical 
period  of  active  life.  He,  however,  showed  no  hesitation  about 
his  course,  and  soon  found  good  friends,  ready  to  yield  him 
such  aid  as  they  had  in  their  power.  Among  others,  John 
Davis,  then  and  for  many  years  afterwards  the  Judge  of  the 
District  Court  of  the  United  States  for  Massachusetts,  desig- 
nated him  to  serve  as  a  commissioner  in  cases  of  bankruptcy  in 
his  court,  in  accordance  with  the  authority  given  him  by  the 
law  of  that  time.  This  promised  to  be  useful  chiefly  as  it 
tended  to  re-establish  his  professional  relations  in  the  view  of 
the  community.  But  in  consequence  of  a  change  just  then  made 
by  Congress  in  the  statute,  establishing  a  permanent  office,  the 
nomination  for  which  was  transferred  to  the  Executive,  Mr. 
Jefferson,  the  new  President,  promptly  exercised  his  power  and 
appointed  some  one  else  in  his  place.  This  proceeding  was 
regarded  by  Mr.  Adams's  family,  and  especially  his  mother,  as 
such  a  marked  indication  of  personal  ill  will  in  so  small  a 
matter  that  it  completed  that  alienation  from  him  which  had 
begun  during  the  contest.  It  is  due  to  Mr.  Jefferson  to  say  that 
some  years  afterwards,  when  overtures  for  a  reconciliation  were 
by  chance  presented,  he  utterly  disavowed  any  such  intention, 
and  even  the  knowledge  that  he  had  ever  done  the  deed.  He 
had  never  thought  of  inquiring  who  served  under  the  casual 
248 


iS02.]  THE   SENATE    OF  MASSACHUSETTS. 


249 


authority  vested  in  the  judges  by  the  former  law,  and  presuming 
them  all  to  be  of  the  opposite  party,  because  most  of  those 
judges  had  belonged  to  it,  he  considered  the  new  statute  as  a 
tabula  rasa,  and  adopted,  without  a  moment's  hesitation,  the 
list  of  persons  recommended  by  his  own  political  friends  to 
rectify  the  inequality  in  the  patronage.  These  rules  have  be- 
come so  well  recognized  in  party  warfare  of  later  years  that  no 
surprise  will  attend  this  relation.  By  Mr.  Adams  himself  the 
matter  was  never  regarded  as  important,  especially  as  he  was 
very  soon  called  into  public  life,  which  would  in  any  event 
have  made  it  necessary  to  vacate  the  post. 

The  period  of  Mr.  Adams's  life  embraced  in  that  part  of  his 
diary  comprised  within  this  chapter  was  the  most  critical  of  his 
whole  career.  For  that  reason  all  the  essential  portions  have 
been  extracted  from  it,  exactly  as  they  stand.  Thus  it  is  made 
easy  to  follow  the  progress  of  his  growth  as  a  legislator  from 
the  commencement,  when  in  the  Federal  Senate  his  course  ap- 
pears to  meet  but  slighting  notice,  to  its  close,  when  he  is  put  to 
the  front  in  almost  every  situation  of  responsibility.  Just  the 
same  indications  will  appear  hereafter,  in  his  longer  and  later 
career  in  the  other  House  of  Congress.  In  all  legislative  assem- 
blies this  issue  is  found  to  be  the  true  test  of  relative  powers. 

January  28th,  1 802.  The  day  chiefly  at  my  office.  In  the 
forenoon  reading  Park,  and  in  the  afternoon  the  British  Critic. 
Evening  at  home,  alone — studying  G.  Adams  on  air  and  chim- 
ney fireplaces.  Walked  in  the  mall  just  before  night.  I  feel 
strong  temptation  and  have  great  provocation  to  plunge  into 
political  controversy.  But  I  hope  to  preserve  myself  from  it 
by  the  considerations  which  have  led  me  to  the  resolution  of 
renouncing.  A  politician  in  this  country  must  be  the  man  of  a 
party.     I  would  fain  be  the  man  of  my  whole  country. 

29th.  Phillips1  was  desirous  of  information  whether  I  would 
accept  the  office  of  Judge  of  the  Supreme  Court  of  this  State, 
vacant  by  the  resignation  of  Mr.  Dawes,  who  is  appointed  to 

1  John  Phillips,  an  intimate  friend  of  his  at  that  time,  and  a  highly  respected 
citizen  of  Boston — afterwards  selected  to  fill  the  responsible  place  of  mayor  on 
its  transformation  into  a  city. 


2r0  MEMOIRS   OF   JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [April, 

the  probate  and  municipal  offices.  But  he  did  not  tell  me  what 
was  the  motive  for  his  curiosity.  He  said  he  had  heard  only- 
three  persons  mentioned — Sedgwick",  Thomas,  of  Plymouth, 
and  me.  I  told  him  that  if  the  Governor,  or  any  member  of 
the  Council  whose  vote  was  to  concur  in  the  appointment, 
wished  to  know  my  resolution,  they  might  know  it  by  apply- 
ing either  personally,  or  by  any  friend,  directly  to  me.  That  I 
would  tell  him  I  did  not  want  the  place,  and  wished  that  no 
friend  of  mine  would  move  a  finger  to  obtain  it  for  me.  But 
that  it  would  be  ridiculous  for  me  to  tell  anybody  and  every- 
body that  I  would  or  would  not  accept  an  office  which  there 
might  be  no  thoughts  of  offering  me. 

April  ist.  Forenoon  at  my  office,  reading  Park.  Private 
meeting  of  Commissioners  in  the  case  of  William  Micklefield. 
Declared  him  bankrupt.  Evening  at  home,  reading  Locke,  on 
clear  and  obscure,  distinct  and  confused,  adequate  and  inade- 
quate, real  and  fantastical,  and  true  and  false  ideas.  Mr.  Tudor 
called  at  my  office,  seemingly  somewhat  uneasy  at  a  paragraph 
in  this  morning's  Chronicle,  objecting  to  the  choice  of  him  and 
myself  as  Senators  (we  have  been  held  up  as  candidates  in 
what  are  called  the  federal  papers),  because  we  are  Commis- 
sioners of  bankrupts,  which  the  writer  says  must  engross  all 
our  time.  Mr.  Tudor  wished  a  paragraph  in  the  Centinel,  to 
state  that  we  can  without  difficulty  attend  to  the  duties  of  both 
offices  at  once.  He  may  have  more  reason  than  I  to  feel  con- 
cerned for  the  result  of  the  election,  because  being  now  a  Sena- 
tor he  will  be  left  out,  and  I  shall  only  not  be  chosen,  which 
are  very  different  things.  I  have  little  desire  to  be  a  Senator, 
for,  whether  it  will  interfere  with  my  duties  as  a  Commissioner 
or  not,  it  will  interfere  with  pursuits  much  more  agreeable  to 
me  than  politics. 

5th.  This  day  the  election  of  Governor,  Lieutenant  Governor, 
and  Senators  took  place.  The  votes  in  this  town  were  2372  for 
Governor  Strong,  and  1498  for  Mr.  Gerry.  The  federal  list  of 
Senators,  containing  the  names  of  Oliver  Wendell,  William 
Tudor,  and  Peleg  Coffin,  with  mine,  had  2375.  The  opposite 
list,  Benj.  Austin,  Jr.,  James  Bowdoin,  Nathaniel  Fellows,  and 
David  Tilden,  had  1498. 


i8o2.]  THE    SENATE    OF  MASSACHUSETTS.  25  I 

May  26th.  This  being  the  day  of  general  election,  at  nine  in 
the  morning  I  repaired  to  the  Senate  Chamber,  conformably  to 
a  summons  which  I  received  from  the  Governor  on  the  10th  of 
this  month.  In  the  course  of  an  hour  thirty-four  of  the  Senators 
chosen  had  assembled.  The  Governor  then  came  and  adminis- 
tered to  us  the  oaths  required  by  the  Constitution.  He  was 
attended  by  five  members  of  the  Council.  After  he  had  with- 
drawn, the  Senate,  being  formed,  unanimously  chose  Gen.  David 
Cobb  their  President.  George  E.  Vaughan  was  next  chosen  as 
Clerk.  A  verbal  message  was  then  sent  to  the  House  of  Repre- 
sentatives to  inform  them  of  these  appointments,  and  a  com- 
mittee of  three  sent  to  the  Governor  with  a  similar  message. 
Soon  after  a  verbal  message  came  from  the  House  to  inform 
the  Senate  that  they  had  chosen  John  Coffin  Jones  their  Speaker, 
and  Henry  Warren  Clerk.  A  committee  of  the  Senate  was 
raised  to  examine  and  report  the  returns  of  Senators  chosen — 
and  three  members  for  a  joint  committee  of  the  House  and 
Senate  to  examine  and  report  the  returns  of  votes  for  Governor 
and  Lieutenant  Governor.  A  message  was  then  sent  to  inform 
the  Governor  that  both  Houses  were  ready  to  attend  him  to 
hear  divine  service  performed.  The  Governor  and  Council  then 
came,  and  with  both  Houses  proceeded  to  the  meeting  house, 
where  a  sermon  was  preached  by  Mr.  Baldwin,  the  chaplain  of 
the  House.  At  four  in  the  afternoon  the  two  Houses  met  again. 
The  committee  of  the  Senate  made  a  report,  by  which  it  appears 
that  there  are  thirty-six  Senators  chosen,  and  four  places  to  be 
filled  up  by  joint  ballot  of  the  two  Houses.  The  joint  com- 
mittee had  previously  reported  the  election  of  Caleb  Strong  for 
Governor,  and  Edward  H.  Robbins  for  Lieutenant  Governor. 
Upon  which  a  committee  was  appointed  to  inform  them  of 
their  being  elected.  A  message  was  then  sent  to  the  House  to 
inform  them  the  Senate  had  assigned  half-past  six  this  after- 
noon for  the  two  Houses  to  meet  in  convention  to  supply  the 
vacant  places  in  the  Senate,  and  request  their  concurrence  ; 
which  was  immediately  brought  by  a  message  from  them. 
They  met  accordingly.  The  vacancies  were  filled  by  Mr.  Frye, 
in  York  County,  Messrs.  Thompson  and  Hayward,  in  Plymouth, 
and    Mr.   Sumner,  in    Lincoln,   Kennebeck,   and    Washington 


252  MEMOIRS    OF   JOHN   QUINCY  ADAMS.  [May, 

Counties.  •  These  elections  being  declared,  the  Senate  returned 
to  their  chamber,  ordered  a  notification  to  the  Senators  just 
elected,  and  adjourned  until  ten  a.m.  to-morrow.  The  pro- 
portion of  votes  for  the  candidates  to  the  Senate  was  about  one 
hundred  and  twenty  to  fifty,. 

27th.  The  Senate  met  at  ten  this  morning.  At  about  noon 
the  joint  committee,  appointed  to  notify  the  Governor  and 
Lieutenant  Governor  of  their  election,  returned,  and  at  half- 
past  twelve  those  officers  appeared  in  the  convention  of  both 
Houses.  The  oaths  were  administered  to  them  by  the  Presi- 
dent of  the  Senate,  as  President  of  the  convention,  and  imme- 
diately subscribed  by  them.  The  President  of  the  convention 
then  announced  to  them  that  they  were  duly  qualified,  and 
asked  whether  they  should  be  proclaimed  as  such;  which  being 
assented  to,  he  directed  the  Secretary  to  proclaim  them,  which 
he  accordingly  did.  After  which  they  withdrew.  The  con- 
vention dissolved,  and  the  Senate  returned  to  their  chamber. 
They  immediately  adjourned  to  three  in  the  afternoon.  I  dined 
at  Mr.  Emerson's  with  about  fifteen  clergymen.  At  four  went 
to  the  Bankrupt  Office,  and  attended  upon  two  cases.  At  five 
found  the  Houses  in  convention  had  already  made  choice  of 
nine  counsellors  from  the  Senate — the  nine  agreed  upon  in 
caucus  after  the  adjournment  in  the  morning.  I  had  there  pro- 
posed to  take  two  or  three  members  of  opposite  politics  to  our 
own,  by  way  of  conciliatory  procedure;  but  no,  they  would  not 
hear  me.  Lowell,  who  must  bring  in  Ames  and  Bigelow  if 
he  can,  very  wisely  proved  the  inexpediency  of  putting  any 
Jacobin  in  the  Council,  upon  general  principles,  and  then  him- 
self proposed  a  Mr.  Woodman,  from  York  County,  a  violent 
Jacobin,  but  who  did  not  happen  to  interfere  with  any  of  his 
intended  candidates.  The  caucus,  however,  were  rather  more 
consistent,  and  carried  the  principle  through.  The  counsellors 
elected  are  all  federalists.  Four  of  them,  it  is  understood, 
will  resign,  to  bring  in  others  from  the  people  at  large.  After 
the  choice  of  counsellors  in  convention  was  declared,  the 
Senate  returned  to  their  hall,  ordered  notification  to  issue 
to  the  counsellors  chosen,  and  adjourned  to  nine  to-morrow 
morniner. 


i8o2.]  THE   SENATE    OF  MASSACHUSETTS.  253 

28th.  Attended  in  the  Senate  this  morning.  Four  of  the  Sena- 
tors yesterday  chosen  declined  accepting  seats  in  the  council, 
and  General  Skinner  said  he  understood  Mr.  Hayward,  when 
he  should  come  in  from  Plymouth,  was  to  resign  too.  The 
Senate  assigned  at  first  this  forenoon  to  come  to  a  choice  of 
counsellors  from  the  people  at  large ;  but  the  House  preferred 
half-past  four  in  the  afternoon.  Nothing  else  was  done  before 
dinner.  My  father  and  mother  came  to  town  and  dined  with 
me,  as  did  Mr.  Pickman.  At  half-past  three  I  went  to  the 
Representatives'  chamber,  in  the  old  State  House,  and  met  the 
Charitable  Fire  Society.  At  four  we  proceeded  to  the  Chapel 
Church.  Dr.  Elliot  made  the  prayer.  An  occasional  song 
was  sung,  written  by  T.  Paine.  The  address  to  the  Society 
was  delivered  by  me.  Afterwards  I  went  with  several  other 
gentlemen  to  Mr.  A.  Welles'  to  tea.  At  the  close  of  the  even- 
ing my  father  and  mother  came  to  lodge  here.  Mr.  Tudor, 
Mr.  Quincy,  and  Mr.  James  White  came  as  a  committee  from 
the  Society  to  ask  a  copy  of  my  address  for  the  press,  which 
I  accordingly  furnished  to  Mr.  Cutler,  the  printer.  It  is  to 
appear  the  beginning  of  next  week. 

29th.  Attended  this  forenoon  in  the  Senate.  Seven  of  the 
counsellors  elected  were  this  day  qualified  in  convention  of 
both  Houses,  in  a  manner  similar  to  that  of  qualifying  the 
Governor  and  Lieutenant  Governor.  After  returning  to  the 
hall,  the  Senate  elected  by  ballot  their  part  of  five  standing 
committees  of  both  Houses — two  Senators  upon  each.  The 
committees  are  on  Accounts,  New  Trials,  Incorporation  of  Totvns, 
Incorporation  of  Parishes  and  Religious  Societies,  and  on  the  Ac- 
counts of  County  Treasurers.  The  House  propose  raising  another 
standing  committee  to  consider  of  applications  for  bridges, 
canals,  and  turnpike  roads.  Upon  this  the  Senate  did  not  act 
to-day.  Several  petitions  were  read;  and  Mr.  Tudor  moved  for 
an  order  to  authorize  the  chaplains  of  both  Houses  to  officiate 
alternately  in  either.  This  was  referred  over  to  Monday.  Ad- 
journed to  that  day,  ten  a.m. 

31st.  There  was  little  business  done  in  the  Senate.  In  the 
afternoon  I  made  a  motion  for  a  joint  committee  of  both 
Houses  to  amend  the  law  respecting  the  election  of  members 


254  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [June, 

for  the  House  of  Representatives  of  the  United  States.  A  com- 
mittee was  ordered  accordingly. 

June  3d.  I  had  engaged  to  dine  this  day  with  Mr.  S.  Eliot, 
but  as  the  report  of  the  Senate's  committee  upon  the  answer  to 
the  Governor's  speech  was  to  be  made  at  four  o'clock  this 
afternoon,  I  was  obliged  to  send  him  an  excuse.  We  had  no 
business  of  consequence  in  Senate  this  forenoon.  But  in  the 
afternoon  the  report  of  the  committee  was  made  and  read.  It 
was  very  offensive  to  the  other  side  of  the  House.  Mr.  Pick- 
man,  who  drew  the  answer,  had,  at  my  request,  and  in  full 
concurrence  with  his  own  opinion,  inserted  a  clause  declaring 
that,  for  the  support  of  the  Constitution,  we  consider  it  as  most 
essential  that  the  independence  of  the  Judiciary  Department 
should  remain  inviolate.  This  was  the  clause  which  roused 
the  party  in  arms.  They  affected  to  take  it  up  with  extraor- 
dinary solemnity,  moved  for  a  distant  time  to  debate  it,  and 
General  Hull  moved  that  a  number  of  copies  should  be  printed 
for  the  use  of  the  members.  I  saw  this  as  a  menace,  and 
therefore  supported  the  motion.  The  thing  was  altogether 
unprecedented,  and  it  was  intended  as  a  threat  of  appeal  to  the 
people.  The  only  way  to  meet  it  was  with  defiance.  General 
Hull  withdrew  his  motion,  for  he  found  his  own  party  more 
averse  to  it  than  ours.  We  assigned  to-morrow  afternoon  to 
debate  the  answer. 

4th.  Mr.  Simpkins,  a  minister  in  the  town  of  Harwich,  called 
upon  me  this  morning  respecting  a  petition  of  part  of  that  town 
for  a  division,  which,  by  a  mistake  in  counting  the  numbers 
yesterday  upon  a  vote  of  the  Senate,  was  rejected.  He  made 
me  a  statement  of  facts,  and  asked  for  my  support  to  obtain  a 
reconsideration  of  the  vote.  In  the  forenoon  the  bill  to  secure 
a  full  representation  of  the  people  of  this  Commonwealth  in 
Congress,  which  I  had  drawn  up,  and  Mr.  Bidwell  reported, 
was  read  for  the  first  time.  Bidwell  opposed  it.  Next  Tues- 
day was  assigned  for  the  second  reading.  In  the  afternoon  the 
answer  to  the  Governor's  speech  was  debated  for  more  than 
three  hours.  Various  attempts  were  made  to  strike  out,  to 
defeat,  and  to  neutralize  the  clause  respecting  the  independence 
of  the  judiciary.     Every  modification  on  our  part  was  offered 


1S02.]  THE  SENATE    OF  MASSACHUSETTS.  255 

and  inserted  as  to  the  form  of  expressions,  but  as  to  the  senti- 
ment itself  we  insisted  upon  the  propriety  and  expediency  of 
its  insertion.  The  votes  for  it  were  nineteen  to  eleven.  But 
Mr.  Thompson,  the  Senator  from  Plymouth,  voted  very  re- 
luctantly with  us,  and  under  great  fear  and  trembling  for  the 
consequences.  He  begged  at  first  to  be  excused  from  voting, 
and  finally  said  he  should  have  liked  much  better  to  have  the 
clause  expunged,  and  he  hoped  nobody  would  be  offended  at 
his  requesting  to  be  excused  from  voting.  The  President  told 
him  by  all  means  ;  and  that  whenever  he  had  such  a  wish  the 
Senate  would  always  be  willing  to  indulge  him  in  it. 

9th.  Attended  at  the  Senate  upon  two  committees,  before  the 
meeting  of  the  board  at  eleven  o'clock.  The  bill  for  amending 
the  districting  law  had  its  second  reading  and  passed  to  be  en- 
grossed. It  was  sent  down  to  the  House  this  afternoon.  We 
had  the  subject  of  banks  again  all  this  afternoon  upon  a  petition 
for  one  in  the  town  of  Beverly.  It  is  to  be  taken  up  again  to- 
morrow. 

10th.  The  remainder  of  the  day  at  the  Senate,  which  was 
principally  occupied  with  the  subject  of  banks.  A  bill  for 
renewing  the  charter  of  the  Union  Bank  for  ten  years,  with 
some  changes,  came  from  the  House.  Being  a  proprietor  in 
that  bank,  I  took  no  part  in  the  debate.  The  Senate  struck 
out  two  sections, — one  to  tax  the  bank  five  per  cent,  on  the 
dividends,  and  the  other  to  take  off  their  obligation  to  loan 
upon  mortgage. 

15th.  Rest  of  the  day  at  the  Senate.  Debated  and  passed 
the  Wiscasset  Bank  bill.  Drew  up  a  new  bill  for  altering  the 
districting  law.  They  had  sent  up  from  the  House  a  new  draft, 
hasty,  incorrect,  and  almost  unintelligible.  In  the  afternoon 
the  Senate  discussed  the  bill  reported  for  remitting  part  of  the 
sentence  on  the  impeachment  of  John  Vinall.  Adjourned  the 
decision  until  to  morrow. 

November  3d.1  The  result  of  the  election  in  this  district  stands 
thus  : 

1  This  was  the  day  of  election  for  members  of  the  federal  House  of  Represent- 
atives. 


256  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [February, 

In  Boston.  For  William  Eustis,  1430  votes.     For  John  Quincy  Adams,  1496 

Charlestown,  244  133 

Medford,  17  96 

Hingham,  83  79 

Maiden,  90  21 

Chelsea,  21  15 

Hull,  14  o 

1899  1840 

So  that  Dr.  Eustis  stands  re-elected  by  a  majority  of  fifty-nine 
votes.  The  cause  assigned  by  the  federalists  for  their  failure 
is,  that  the  election  day  was  rainy,  and  that  a  large  number  of 
strong  federal  votes  from  the  remotest  part  of  the  town  was 
lost  by  non-attendance.  This  is  one  of  a  thousand  proofs  how 
large  a  portion  of  federalism  is  a  mere  fair-weather  principle, 
too  weak  to  overcome  a  shower  of  rain.  It  shows  the  degree 
of  dependence  that  can  be  placed  upon  such  friends.  As  a 
party,  their  adversaries  are  more  sure,  and  more  earnest.  For 
myself,  I  must  consider  the  issue  as  relieving  me  from  a  heavy 
burden  and  a  thankless  task. 

Here  closes  the  first  volume  of  the  diary.  The  second 
opens  with  the  following  motto: 

MaflrjT-fjS  Trporips  Uffrepoq  eartv  vpOpoq. 

"  But  you  with  pleasure  own  each  error  past, 
And  make  each  day  a  critic  on  the  last/' — Pope. 

February  2d,  1803.  The  Senate  this  day  got  through  the  bill 
for  incorporating  an  insurance  company,  and  several  others. 
They  took  up  the  report  of  the  committee  that  it  is  inexpedient 
to  apply  to  Congress  for  leave  to  sell  our  stocks,  and  rejected  it. 
The  committee  on  the  banks  were  to  meet  this  evening  at  six 
o'clock;  but  upon  going  to  the  State  House  we  found  the  doors 
shut.  Postponed  the  meeting  therefore  until  to-morrow.  Mr. 
Ames  dined  with  us  at  Mr.  Bussy's.  As  we  were  leaving  the 
house  together,  I  told  him  that  I  had  heard  that  both  his  name 
and  mine  were  upon  the  nomination  list  now  in  the  House  of 
Representatives  for  the   choice  of  a  Senator  in  Congress.     I 


1803.]  THE  SENATE    OF  MASSACHUSETTS. 


257 


asked  him  whether  he  would  accept  the  office,  if  chosen,  and 
assured  him  that,  if  he  would,  my  name  should  not  stand  in 
competition  with  his ;  that  I  would  take  care  to  have  it  re- 
moved, and  should  be  highly  gratified  to  contribute  all  in  my 
power  towards  securing  his  election. 

He  said  he  was  entirely  out  of  the  question — that  he  could 
not  go  at  any  rate,  and  that  if  his  name  was  on  the  nomination 
list  it  was  altogether  without  his  knowledge  or  consent.  He 
said  the  federalists  were  driving  on  just  like  a  militia,  without 
concert  or  order,  and  that  some  measures  ought  to  be  taken  to 
produce  union  among  them.  That  there  would  be  two  Senators 
to  be  chosen  this  session,  as  Mr.  Foster  would  certainly  resign, 
and  Mr.  Mason  declines  a  re-election.  That  there  were  two 
men  to  be  provided  for,  and  that  measures  should  be  pursued  to 
prevent  the  excitement  of  ambition,  and  of  course  to  produce 
the  leaven  of  disappointment  in  a  multitude  of  good  men  who 
could  have  no  reasonable  pretensions,  and  whose  feelings  ought 
not  to  be  tampered  with. 

I  told  him  that,  concurring  entirely  with  him  in  the  sentiment 
that  something  should  be  done  to  obtain  united  action  and  ex- 
ertion, this  was  an  occasion  upon  which  I  could  do  no  more 
than  say  that  I  would  cordially  assist  on  my  part  in  supporting 
or  promoting  the  election  of  any  one  or  two  men,  other  than 
myself,  upon  whom  they  would  agree.    Here  this  matter  rested. 

The  House  of  Representatives  last  Saturday  assigned  to-mor- 
row, twelve  o'clock,  to  make  choice  of  the  Senator  for  six  years, 
instead  of  Mr.  Mason,  whose  term  expires  on  the  4th  of  March. 
The  Centinel  and  Palladium  published  that  the  time  assigned 
was  next  Saturday.  Mr.  Russell,  of  Boston,  moved  this  day  in 
the  House  to  postpone  the  choice  until  next  Tuesday.  Mr. 
Otis  argued  in  favor  of  the  postponement.  The  vote  passed, 
but  was  afterwards  reconsidered,  and  the  original  time  again 
assigned,  for  to-morrow,  twelve  o'clock.  This  hurrying  on  is 
occasioned  by  a  coalition  of  the  Jacobin  party  (so  called)  with 
the  ynnto,  who  expect  to  carry  Mr.  Pickering  for  the  six  years, 
and  then  to  start  another  candidate,  if  Mr.  Foster  should 
resign. 

3d.  The  business  in  Senate  this  forenoon  was  of  little  conse- 

VOL.  I. — 17 


2 1; 8  MEMOIRS    OF   JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [February, 

quence — no  bills  of  general  interest  being  before  them.  About 
one  o'clock  Mr.  Otis  came  up  from  the  House  with  a  message; 
that  the  House  had  proceeded  to  the  choice  of  a  Senator  in 
the  Congress  of  the  United  States,  in  the  room  of  Jonathan 
Mason,  whose  time  of  service  expires  on  the  4th  of  March  next ; 
and  that,  on  the  ballots  being  taken,  it  appeared  that  John 
Quincy  Adams  had  a  majority  of  the  whole  number.  The 
Senate  assigned  next  Tuesday,  twelve  o'clock,  to  act  upon  this 
choice,  and  a  nomination  list  in  the  mean  time  to  be  put  up. 
Mr.  Pickman  immediately  put  my  name  upon  the  nomination 
list,  and  the  name  of  Timothy  Pickering  was  immediately  after 
inserted — I  know  not  by  whom. 

Before  the  choice  made  in  the  House  of  Representatives,  Mr. 
Pickman  told  me  that  as  there  would  certainly  be  two  vacancies 
in  the  Senate  of  the  United  States,  he  wished  that  Mr.  Pickering 
and  myself  might  be  chosen  to  fill  them.  But  one  of  the  places 
being  for  the  whole  six  years,  and  the  other  only  a  remnant,  he 
thought  Mr.  Pickering's  age,  and  the  cruel  persecutions  of 
calumny  which  he  had  suffered,  gave  him  the  right  to  the  first 
choice.  He  thought  him  an  honest  and  an  able  man,  though 
of  an  unaccommodating  and  too  assuming  temper.  His  volun- 
teering an  answer  to  an  address  from  Princess  Anne  County, 
instead  of  laying  the  address  before  the  President,  had  always 
struck  him  as  a  very  improper  thing.  He  asked  me  whether 
the  difference  between  Mr.  Pickering  and  my  father  would  have 
such  influence  on  me  as  to  make  me  unwilling  to  sit  in  the 
same  House  with  him.  I  told  him  I  had  no  personal  resentment 
against  Mr.  Pickering  whatever ;  and,  far  from  wishing  to  ex- 
clude him,  I  would  cordially  give  my  vote  for  him,  and  for  any 
other  man  upon  whom  the  federalists  would  agree.  He  then 
said  that  he  had  made  up  his  mind  not  to  be  active  at  all  in  the 
election,  but  to  vote  for  the  person  whom  the  House  should 
send  up,  provided  he  should  think  him  a  suitable  person.  And 
he  added  that  he  most  sincerely  wished  Mr.  Pickering  had  not 
suffered  his  name  to  be  put  up. 

There  were  four  trials  in  the  House  before  the  choice  was 
made.  The  candidates  and  the  number  of  votes  at  the  several 
trials  were  as  follows  : 


THE   SENATE    OF  MASSACHUSETTS. 


259 


First  trial, 

169. 

Second  trial,  170. 

Third 

trial,  171. 

Fourth  trial,  171 

Timothy  Pickering, 

67 

79 

33 

6 

Tompson  J.  Skinner, 

7i 

7i 

7i 

70 

Nicholas  Tillinghast, 

12 

9 

10 

9 

Henry  Knox, 

7 

5 

1 

... 

Samuel  Dexter, 

1 

... 

... 

Justin  Ely, 

1 

... 

John  Quincy  Adams, 

10 

6 

56 

86 

The  reason  of  the  election's  taking  such  an  extraordinary 
turn,  I  am  told,  was  this.  A  caucus  of  about  twenty  members 
was  held  last  evening  at  Mr.  Russell's  house.  They  could  not 
agree  together  upon  supporting  Mr.  Pickering  or  me ;  each 
being  proposed  and  urged  by  several  persons.  At  length  it 
was  agreed,  by  way  of  compromise,  that  Mr.  Pickering  should 
have  the  first  chance  of  two  trials,  and  if  his  election  could  not 
then  be  carried,  they  would  unite  for  me.  This  agreement  was 
but  very  imperfectly  complied  with  at  the  third  trial.  At  the 
two  first  and  the  fourth  it  was  executed  as  faithfully  as  such 
things  ever  can  be.  At  the  caucus  Mr.  Lowell  and  Mr.  Otis 
were  warm  partisans  for  Mr.  Pickering.  Of  Lowell  I  could 
expect  no  less,  nor  indeed  of  Otis — for  he  has,  of  his  own 
accord,  told  me  several  times  that,  as  Mr.  Mason  would  cer- 
tainly decline  a  re-election,  he,  the  said  Otis,  meant  to  use  all 
his  endeavors  to  get  ME  chosen  in  his  stead.  How  could  I 
possibly  imagine,  then,  that  Otis  would  propose  or  support  any 
man  but  Pickering  ? 

4th.  The  business  transacted  in  the  Senate  was  not  very 
important.  After  we  had  adjourned,  Otis  took  me  into  one  of 
the  lobbies  to  talk  with  me  upon  the  subject  of  the  application 
for  a  new  bank  in  the  town  of  Boston.  He  said  I  had  no  con- 
ception of  the  interest  and  agitation  which  this  affair  had 
excited;  that  the  application  embraced  a  great  multitude  of 
the  most  respectable  persons  in  this  town,  and  almost  the 
whole  commercial  interest;  that  it  appeared  to  be  an  opinion 
among  them  that  it  depended  entirely  upon  me,  and  he  had 
heard  I  had  objections  against  the  plan,  which  he  wished  to 
remove  if  possible.  He  understood  the  committee  had  required 
the  subscription  paper,  to  ascertain  the  names  of  the  persons 
concerned  and  the  amount  of  their  subscriptions.     He  made  no 


26o  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHX  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [February, 

hesitation  to  avow  that  he  was  interested  in  it;  he  had  never 
concealed  it,  and  never  wished  to  conceal  it ;  but  at  the  same 
time  he  did  not  wish  to  have  his  name  appear,  to  be  animad- 
verted upon  by  every  member  of  the  Legislature,  and  by  the 
public  abroad.  That  he  would  tell  me  exactly  how  the  plan 
was  formed.  The  establishment  of  a  new  bank  in  this  town 
had  been  talked  of  these  two  or  three  years ;  but  lately  about 
twenty  gentlemen  met  together,  and,  projecting  to  unite  all  the 
great  and  respectable  interests  in  the  town,  had  chosen  a  com- 
mittee from  among  themselves  to  offer  the  subscriptions  round 
to  every  gentleman  of  respectable  character,  and  to  apportion 
the  amount  which  each  person  should  be  allowed  to  subscribe. 
That  no  individual  subscriber  was  to  take  more  than  fifty 
shares,  excepting  the  original  projectors  themselves.  That  the 
two  insurance  offices  were  to  have  two  thousand  shares  each, 
but  were  to  give  up  five  hundred  shares  apiece,  if  such  shares 
should  be  found  necessary  for  any  unforeseen  demand  ;  and  that 
one  thousand  shares  should  be  resei~ved,  to  be  taken  by  the 
twenty  original  projectors  among  themselves,  for  their  extraor- 
dinary trouble  and  attention.  The  fact  was  that  if  the  plan 
should  be  defeated  it  would  be  solely  owing  to  the  liberality 
with  which  it  was  undertaken.  If  it  should  be  defeated,  the 
Jacobins  would  undertake  and  carry  through  a  bank  of  their 
own,  of  which  they  had  even  matured  a  project.  That  had 
subsided  only  in  consequence  of  the  bank  now  proposed,  for 
when  Dr.  Jarvis  was  applied  to  to  subscribe  this  application 
he  refused,  alleging  that  he  had  already  signed  another  appli- 
cation. Finally,  his  principal  object  in  thus  talking  with  me 
was  to  say  that  there  could  be  no  necessity  for  having  a  sub- 
scription paper  containing  the  names  of  the  parties  interested 
bandied  about  in  public. 

I  told  him  I  was  sensible  how  deep,  how  large,  and  how 
powerful  an  interest  was  combined  in  the  pursuit  of  this  object; 
that,  so  far  from  contending  against  such  a  respectable  weight 
of  influence,  it  would  be  my  strongest  wish  to  comply  with 
and  promote  every  thing  they  should  desire,  so  far  as  might 
be  consistent  with  my  duty;  that  the  committee  on  which  I 
sat  were  equally  divided — two  being  for  giving  leave  to  bring 


1803.]  THE   SENATE    OF  MASSACHUSETTS.  26l 

in  a  bill  without  limitation,  and  two  absolutely  against  it ;  that 
so  far  the  question  depended  upon  me.  But  it  had  been 
rumored  abroad  that  in  forming  the  capital  of  this  bank  a 
certain  number  of  shares  was  reserved,  to  be  distributed  among 
the  members  of  the  Legislature ;  and  this  was  a  species  of  in- 
fluence so  dishonorable  to  the  Legislature  itself,  that  I  con- 
sidered it  indispensable  to  remove  as  far  as  could  be  the 
possibility  of  such  a  suspicion;  that  in  consequence  of  this  I 
had  suggested,  and  the  committee  had  adopted,  the  idea  of 
calling  for  the  subscription  paper.  But  I  presumed  there 
would  be  no  necessity  for  making  it  public. 

At  half-past  three  in  the  afternoon  the  committee  met  again; 
but  Mr.  Treadwell,  the  Chairman,  was  not  present.  Mr.  Hig- 
ginson,  Mr.  Lyman,  and  Mr.  Lloyd  again  came,  and  urged 
further  arguments  to  recommend  their  plan  and  to  remove 
objections.  They  produced  their  subscription  paper;  but,  as 
the  committee  thought  no  reservation  ought  to  remain  unap- 
propriated, they  took  back  the  paper  to  have  it  filled  up.  The 
committee  agreed  to  give  them  leave  to  bring  in  a  bill — but 
with  condition  that  some  clause  should  be  introduced  to 
indemnify  the  Commonwealth  for  the  loss  it  will  sustain  upon 
its  Union  Bank  shares,  and  that  the  specie  for  the  vaults  of  the 
new  bank  shall  not  be  drawn  from  any  bank  incorporated  by 
the  Commonwealth. 

7th.  Mr.  James  Lloyd  called  and  conversed  with  me  on  the 
subject  of  the  proposed  bank.  He  was  very  desirous  that  I  should 
give  it  not  only  my  vote,  but  my  support.  I  stated  my  objections, 
and  my  intentions,  particularly  of  proposing  a  general  subscrip- 
tion, to  which  he  strongly  objected.  I  find  it  a  subject  of  no 
small  difficulty  how  to  conduct  myself  upon  this  occasion. 

8th.  The  Senate  was  occupied  in  discussing  several  bills  and 
motions  until  twelve  o'clock — the  time  assigned  for  the  choice 
of  a  Senator  in  Congress  for  six  years  after  the  4th  of  March 
next.  The  number  of  votes  was  twenty-six  (of  course  I  did 
not  vote  at  all).  There  were  nineteen  votes  for  John  Quincy 
Adams,  and  seven  for  Tompson  J.  Skinner.  The  federal  side 
of  the  House,  therefore,  was  unanimous  to  concur  in  the  choice 
made  by  the  House. 


262  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [April, 

ioth.  The  principal  business  before  the  Senate  was  the  re- 
ported address  for  the  removal  of  the  two  Judges  of  the  Sessions 
and  Common  Pleas,  which  was  carried  by  yeas  and  nays — 
fourteen  to  ten.  I  wrote  a  dissent,  which  I  requested  might  be 
entered  upon  the  Journals.  The  subject  was  postponed  until 
to-morrow. 

1 2th.  My  protest  against  the  address  was  taken  up,  but  not 
decided  on,  the  subject  being  still  before  the  House  of  Repre- 
sentatives. 

March  3d.  The  Boston  Bank  bill,  on  the  question  of  enact- 
ment, had  a  sharp  contest  again  this  day  in  both  Houses.  A 
vote  against  it  passed  in  the  House  of  Representatives,  but 
was  afterwards  reconsidered.  In  the  Senate,  the  yeas  and  nays 
were  fourteen  for  the  bill,  and  twelve  against  it. 

4th.  My  reasons  for  dissenting  from  the  address  to  remove 
the  two  Eastern  Judges  were  taken  up,  and  leave  was  given  by 
a  small  majority  to  enter  them  upon  the  Journals.  The  Presi- 
dent took  a  part  rather  too  decided  against  me  on  this  question, 
as,  indeed,  he  has  done  upon  every  considerable  question  but 
one  which  I  have  brought  forward  in  both  sessions  of  the 
Legislature.  I  can  trace  the  source  of  his  opposition.  The 
cause  is  irremovable.  The  day  commences  the  Congressional 
year,  and  last  evening  I  took  the  sense  of  the  Senate  on  the 
question  whether  those  of  us  who  are  elected  to  serve  in  the 
Congress  now  to  ensue  may  retain  or  vacate  their  seats  here. 
They  determined  that  it  had  been  settled,  ten  years  ago,  in 
the  cases  of  Mr.  Cobb  and  Mr.  Coffin,  that  the  seats  here  are 
not  vacated,  as  no  man  is  a  member  of  Congress  until  duly 
qualified  and  admitted. 

Dedham,  April  1st. — We  tried  the  question  upon  the  valid- 
ity of  a  will,  to  the  Court — Mr.  Parsons  and  Mr.  Dexter 
against  Mr.  Ames  and  me.  But  we  could  prove  nothing,  and 
the  will  was  established.  Just  as  the  judgment  of  the  Court 
was  recording,  I  received  a  note  from  W.  Shaw,  with  informa- 
tion that  the  house  of  Bird,  Savage  and  Bird,  in  London,  has 
failed.  I  stayed  only  at  dinner  with  the  judges,  and  imme- 
diately after  set  out  to  return  home.  On  arriving  in  town,  I 
received  by  the  mail  from  New  York  a  circular  letter  from  the 


1803.]  THE   SENATE    OF  MASSACHUSETTS.  26x 

house  of  Bird,  Savage  and  Bird,  dated  7th  February,  giving  notice 
of  their  suspension  of  payments,  with  the  addition  that  they 
would  endeavor  to  get  some  house  to  take  up  my  bills  upon 
them  ;  on  which,  however,  I  place  not  the  least  dependence. 
The  property  they  have  in  their  hands  is  my  father's ;  but  I 
must  provide  for  taking  the  bills  up  which  I  had  drawn.  For 
this  purpose  I  have  no  other  means  than  to  sell  my  own  prop- 
erty. I  called  upon  Mr.  Smith  to  ask  him  if  he  wished  to 
purchase  again  the  house  I  bought  of  him,  and  in  which  I  now 
live ;  but  he  said  it  would  not  be  convenient.  I  have  never 
before  met  so  severe  a  shock  in  respect  to  property  as  this. 
Passed  the  evening  with  the  Society ;  but  Mr.  Emerson  was 
absent  and  gave  us  no  exhibition. 

2d.  This  morning  I  applied  to  Mr.  Jackson,  the  broker,  to 
sell  my  Fire  and  Marine  insurance  company  shares,  and  those 
of  my  father,  for  the  purpose  of  raising  the  money  to  defray 
the  bills  which  must  return  upon  my  hands :  he  was  unable  to 
sell  them,  however,  this  day.  Mr.  Freeman  called  upon  me 
with  one  of  the  bills,  that  for  ^"400, — protested  12th  February, 
— two  days  later  than  the  letter  of  Bird,  Savage  and  Bird  to  me. 
So  they  were  unable  to  procure  any  house  to  take  them  up, 
and  I  must  expect  them  all  back  within  a  few  days.  I  paid 
Mr.  Freeman  for  his  bill,  with  all  the  charges,  which  are  lighter 
than  I  can  expect  they  will  be  upon  any  of  the  rest.  In  the 
afternoon  I  wrote  to  my  brother,  to  prepare  him  for  the  return 
of  the  bill  I  sent  him  last  November,  and  to  promise  him  it  shall 
immediately  be  paid.  I  went  out  to  Quincy  with  Mr.  J.  Gardner 
in  the  evening,  and  had  the  task  to  perform  of  giving  notice  to 
my  father  and  mother  of  this  misfortune.  They  felt  it  severely, 
but  bore  it  with  proper  firmness  and  composure.  I  feel  myself 
in  a  great  degree  answerable  for  this  calamity,  and,  of  course, 
bound  to  share  largely  in  the  loss.  The  business  of  drawing 
the  money  from  Holland1  was  entrusted  to  me,  and  I  adopted 

1  This  was  a  very  severe  trial  for  the  moment  to  both  father  and  son ;  but  it 
happily  passed  off  without  grave  consequences.  John  Adams,  when  engaged  in 
negotiating  loans  for  the  country  in  Holland,  did  his  best  to  set  an  example  of 
confidence  by  subscribing  whatever  he  could  spare  of  his  own  means  to  them. 
The  time  of  repayment  had  now  come  round,  and  he  was  at  home,  but  his  money 


264  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [October, 

a  method  of  transacting  it  which  has  failed.  The  error  of 
judgment  was  mine,  and  therefore  I  shall  not  refuse  to  share 
in  the  suffering. 

October  2 1st.  At  eleven  this  morning  I  took  my  seat  in  the 
Senate  of  the  United  States,  after  delivering  my  credential 
letter  to  Mr.  Otis,  the  Secretary,  and  being  sworn  to  support 
the  Constitution  of  the  United  States  by  Mr.  John  Brown,  of 
Kentucky,  who  is  the  President  pro  tempore,  Mr.  Burr,  the  Vice- 
President,  being  absent.  There  was  little  business  done,  and 
the  Senate  adjourned  soon  after  twelve.  Mr.  Otis1  is  much 
alarmed  at  the  prospect  of  being  removed  from  his  office.  It 
has  been  signified  to  him  this  day,  that  in  order  to  retain  it  he 
must  have  all  the  printing  done  by  Duane.2  His  compliance 
may  possibly  preserve  him  one  session  longer.  After  the 
Senate  adjourned,  I  went  in  without  the  bar  of  the  House  of 
Representatives;  but  they  adjourned  immediately  afterwards. 
As  I  returned  home  I  called  at  the  President's,  and,  not  finding 
him  at  home,  left  a  card. 

22d.  I  called  this  morning  at  the  offices  of  the  Secretary  of 
State  and  Secretary  of  the  Treasury,  but  found  neither  of  them 

was  to  be  returned  to  him  at  Amsterdam.  It  became  necessary  to  effect  the  transfer 
from  Amsterdam  to  London,  and  thence  to  Boston.  His  son  undertook  the  work, 
through  the  house  of  Bird,  Savage  and  Bird,  a  house  which  had  been  trusted  by 
the  government  of  the  United  States,  and,  therefore,  naturally  by  him  whilst 
holding  official  relations  in  Europe.  But  the  bills  which  he  drew  upon  them 
and  sold  in  Boston  came  back  protested  for  non-payment,  with  heavy  charges, 
and  were  to  be  redeemed  at  once,  whilst  the  funds  realized  had  been  already 
invested  by  his  father  in  a  large  purchase  of  lands  not  susceptible  of  sudden  recon- 
version without  serious  loss.  Hence  the  necessity  imposed  upon  the  son  to  raise 
money  at  once  by  an  immediate  sale  of  his  most  available  property.  Much  relief 
was  given  by  the  voluntary  interposition  of  friends  both  in  London  and  in  Boston 
in  saving  costs  on  his  bills  and  facilitating  their  payment ;  and  his  father  secured 
him  from  the  risk  of  loss  to  the  best  of  his  ability.  It  is  proper  to  add  that  the  bankers 
in  liquidation,  in  course  of  time,  paid  the  whole  debt ;  but  the  last  instalment  was 
not  received  until  after  the  death  of  John  Adams,  twenty-three  years  later. 

1  Samuel  Allyne  Otis  had  been  Secretary  of  the  Senate  since  its  organization, 
and  remained  in  office,  notwithstanding  the  change  of  parties,  until  his  death,  in 
1814. 

-  William  Duane,  editor  of  the  Aurora,  a  newspaper  printed  at  Philadelphia, 
effective  in  the  interest  of  the  ruling  party. 


1803.]  THE   SENATE    OF  THE    UNITED  STATES.  26$ 

there.  Attended  in  Senate,  where  the  principal  business  done 
was  upon  a  resolution  offered  by  Mr.  Clinton1  for  designating, 
in  all  future  elections  of  President  and  Vice-President,  the 
persons  who  are  to  fill  each  of  these  offices.  Several  amend- 
ments were  offered  to  this  resolution,  which  was  finally  com- 
mitted to  a  select  committee  of  five.  It  was  near  three  o'clock 
when  the  adjournment  took  place. 

23d.  There  is  no  church  of  any  denomination  in  this  city; 
but  religious  service  is  usually  performed  on  Sundays  at  the 
Treasury  office  and  at  the  Capitol.  I  went  both  forenoon  and 
afternoon  to  the  Treasury,  but  found  there  was  this  day  no 
preaching  there,  on  account  of  the  indisposition  of  Mr.  Laurie. 
The  two  Senators  from  Delaware,  Messrs.  Wells  and  White, 
and  Mr.  Huger,  a  member  of  the  House  of  Representatives 
from  South  Carolina,  called  upon  me  this  morning. 

24th.  Called  at  the  Secretary  of  State's  office  this  morning, 
and  had  some  conversation  with  him  relative  to  the  settlement 
of  my  accounts  during  my  residence  abroad  in  the  public  ser- 
vice. But  he  still  makes  difficulties  beyond  what  I  conceive  to 
be  reasonable  or  proper.  Called  also  on  the  Secretary  of  the 
Treasury ;  but  he  was  not  at  his  office.  Attended  in  Senate. 
The  day  was  spent  in  debate  upon  the  proposed  amendment  of 
the  Constitution  respecting  the  election  of  President  and  Vice- 
President.  No  decision  was  had.  Some  warm  expressions 
passed  between  Mr.  Clinton  and  Mr.  Dayton.  Dined  with 
Mr.  Cranch,2  who  informed  me  that  he  was  about  publishing  a 
volume  of  Reports  of  cases  adjudged  by  the  Supreme  Court 
of  the  United  States  in  this  city.  Returning  home,  I  stopped 
at  the  Post  office  and  left  a  specimen  of  my  signature,  as 
required  by  law,  for  the  purpose  of  franking  my  letters.  The 
clerks  told  me  it  was  unnecessary,  as  that  direction  of  the  law 
was  almost  universally  neglected — that  only  one  member  of 
Congress  had  complied  with  it  this  session.     I  left,  however, 

1  De  Witt  Clinton,  afterwards  Governor  of  New  York,  and  still  remembered  as 
one  of  the  most  eminent  statesmen  of  his  time. 

2  William  Cranch,  a  cousin  of  the  author,  as  well  as  a  classmate  at  Cambridge, 
afterwards  for  many  years  Chief  Justice  of  the  Circuit  Court  of  the  District  of 
Columbia.  He  will  be  longest  remembered  through  the  work  referred  to  in  the  text. 


266  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [October, 

my  signature,  and  thus  executed  the  injunction  of  the  law,  so 
far  as  respected  myself.  , 

25th.  I  called  this  morning  at  the  office  of  the  Secretary  of 
the  Treasury,  but  did  not  find  him  there.  Attended  in  Senate. 
Mr.  Clinton,  who  is  appointed  Mayor  of  the  City  of  New  York, 
and  will  be  obliged  to  be  sworn  in  at  the  beginning  of  the  next 
month,  went  away  early  this  morning.  He  left  a  handsome 
written  apology  for  the  expressions  he  used  yesterday  offensive 
to  Mr.  Dayton,  which  was  read  by  Mr.  Wright  in  his  place. 
Mr.  Breckinridge's  bill  for  enabling  the  President  to  take  pos- 
session of  Louisiana  was  debated  at  the  second  reading,  and  is 
to  be  read  the  third  time.  Mr.  Wright  informed  the  Senate 
that  the  reason  why  the  decision  upon  the  resolution  for 
amending  the  Constitution  in  respect  to  the  election  of  Presi- 
dent was  so  vehemently  pressed  was  because  Mr.  Clinton,  the 
mover,  wanted  to  get  through  with  it  before  he  went  home. 
But  as  other  gentlemen  wanted  time,  and  the  subject  was 
important,  he  moved  it  be  postponed  for  further  considera- 
tion until  to-morrow ;  which  was  done.  He  then  called  up 
his  resolution  for  coming  to  a  new  choice  for  Secretary  and 
other  officers  of  the  Senate.  But  it  was  determined  by  a  bare 
majority  not  to  take  up  the  consideration  of  this  resolution  for 
the  present.  Adjourned  at  about  one  o'clock  p.m.  I  went  into 
the  House  of  Representatives,  and  heard  a  Mr.  Elliot,  from 
Vermont,  for  about  an  hour.  Mr.  Tracy  made  me  acquainted 
with  Mr.  Griswold.  Mr.  John  Smith,  the  second  Senator  from 
the  State  of  Ohio,  this  day  was  sworn  and  took  his  seat. 

26th.  Called  again  at  the  office  of  the  Secretary  of  the 
Treasury,  without  finding  him.  Saw  the  Auditor,  and  showed 
him  the  documents  which  had  been  required  for  the  settle- 
ment of  my  accounts.  Attended  in  the  Senate.  The  bill  for 
enabling  the  President  to  take  possession  of  Louisiana,  and  for 
other  purposes,  passed  the  third  reading — twenty-six  yeas,  six 
nays.  The  objection  was  to  the  second  section,  as  unconsti- 
tutional. After  the  bill  had  passed,  Mr.  Breckinridge,  who 
introduced  it,  had  the  words  for  other  purposes,  in  the  title, 
al  tered  for  the  temporary  government  of  the  same.  We  adj  o u  rned 
about  half-past  two. 


1803.]  THE   SENATE    OF  THE    UNITED   STATES.  26l 

27th.  Attended  in  Senate,  where  some  private  business  was 
done,  and  the  Treaty  of  Limits  with  Great  Britain1  was  read 
the  second  time.  Mr.  Wright  called  up  his  resolution  for  a 
Secretary  and  other  officers  of  the  Senate;  but  a  motion  to 
postpone  the  consideration  of  the  resolution  until  the  first 
Monday  in  October  next  prevailed.  The  votes  were  seventeen 
to  thirteen.  Adjourned  quite  early.  I  went  into  the  House  of 
Representatives,  and  heard  the  debate  there  on  the  bill  which 
yesterday  passed  the  Senate.  The  principal  speakers  were 
Messrs.  Griswold,  Eustis,  J.  Randolph,  Eppes,  Rodney,  and 
Elliot. 

28th.  I  called  at  the  Secretary  of  State's  office,  to  give  him 
a  letter  for  Mr.  Randolph.  Spoke  to  him  also  for  a  copy  of 
Laws  and  Journals  for  the  Historical  Society.  I  asked  him 
whether  the  Executive  had  made  any  arrangements  with  any 
members  of  either  House  to  bring  forward  the  proposal  for  an 
amendment  to  the  Constitution  to  carry  through  the  Louisiana 
Treaty ;  that  if  any  such  arrangement  was  made,  I  should  wait 
quietly  until  it  should  be  produced;  but  if  not,  I  should  think 
it  my  duty  to  move  for  such  an  amendment.  He  said  he  did 
not  know  that  it  was  universally  agreed  that  it  required  an 
amendment  of  the  Constitution.  But  for  his  own  part,  had 
he  been  on  the  floor  of  Congress,  he  should  have  seen  no  dif- 
ficulty in  acknowledging  that  the  Constitution  had  not  provided 
for  such  a  case  as  this;  that  it  must  be  estimated  by  the  mag- 
nitude of  the  object,  and  that  those  who  had  agreed  to  it  must 
rely  upon  the  candor  of  their  country  for  justification.  To  all 
of  which  I  agreed,  but  urged  the  necessity  of  removing  as 
speedily  as  possible  all  question  on  this  subject;  to  which  he 
readily  assented.  He  said  he  did  not  know  that  any  arrange- 
ment had  been  made;  that  probably,  when  the  objects  of  im- 
mediate pressure  were  gone  through,  it  would  be  attended  to, 
and  if  lie  should  have  any  agency  in  concerting  the  measure,  he 
would  request  the  gentleman  who  might  propose  it  to  consult 

1  On  the  24th  of  the  month  the  President  sent  to  the  Senate  a  message  transmit- 
ting a  convention  negotiated  by  Mr.  King,  the  Minister  at  London,  with  Great 
Britain,  for  settling  the  boundaries  in  the  northeastern  and  northwestern  parts  of 
the  United  States. 


268  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [October, 

previously  with  me.  Attended  in  Senate.  Mr.  Butler's  reso- 
lution for  a  further  negotiation  with  France,  under  consideration, 
debated  until  past  three  p.m.,  when  we  adjourned. 

29th.  In  Senate.  The  debate  was  upon  the  bill  to  enable  the 
President  to  take  possession  of  Louisiana,  &c,  which  comes 
back  from  the  House  with  amendments  to  the  second  section. 
I  moved  an  amendment  to  the  last  amendment  from  the  House, 
by  an  addition  of  the  words  "  consistently  with  the  Constitution 
of  the  United  States."  But  it  was  objected,  that  this  was  not 
in  order,  my  proposed  amendment  referring  not  to  the  amend- 
ment from  the  House,  but  to  the  original  section  of  the  bill, 
upon  which  this  House,  having  already  acted,  could  not  now 
act  again.  The  President  so  decided,  but  requested  the  sense 
of  the  House,  which  confirmed  his  decision.  The  amendments 
were  all  rejected,  and  a  committee  of  conference  appointed. 
The  House  of  Representatives  insisted.  The  conferees  met, 
and  agreed  that  the  Senate  should  recede  from  their  disagree- 
ment to  the  amendments  from  the  House,  and  agree  to  the 
same  with  a  further  amendment.  When  our  conferees  came 
in,  the  Senate  agreed  to  that  part  of  the  report  which  proposed 
to  recede,  but  disagreed  to  the  additional  amendment  of  their 
own  conferees.  So  the  bill  passed  as  amended  in  the  House 
of  Representatives.  It  was  observed  as  a  rule,  and  on  all  sides 
recognized,  that  the  Speaker  of  the  House  and  President  of  the 
Senate  could  not  sign  an  enrolled  bill  but  while  those  bodies' 
are  respectively  in  session. 

30th.  Attended  public  service  at  the  Capitol,  where  Mr.  Rat- 
toon,  an  Episcopalian  clergyman  from  Baltimore,  preached  a 
sermon.  I  afterwards  called  on  Messrs.  Wells  and  White,  the 
Senators  from  Delaware,  but  did  not  find  them  at  their  lodg- 
ings. Visited  also  Mr.  Amory  and  Mr.  Pickering,  with  whom 
I  found  a  number  of  the  Connecticut  and  Massachusetts  mem- 
bers of  Congress. 

31st.  In  Senate.  Mr.  Breckinridge  introduced  a  resolution 
to  wear  crape  a  month  for  the  three  illustrious  patriots,  Samuel 
Adams,  Edmund  Pendleton,  and  Stevens  Thompson  Mason.  I 
asked  for  the  constitutional  authority  of  the  Senate  to  enjoin 
upon  its  members  this  act ;  and  he  referred  to  the  manual,  that 


1803.]  THE   SENATE    OF   THE    UNITED   STATES.  26g 

such  a  regulation  was  merely  conventional  and  not  binding 
upon  the  members.  I  then  objected  against  it  as  improper  in 
itself,  tending;  to  unsuitable  discussions  of  character,  and  to  an 
employment  of  the  Senate's  time  in  debates  altogether  foreign 
to  the  subjects  which  properly  belong  to  them.  This  led  to  a 
debate  of  three  hours,  in  the  course  of  which  the  resolution 
was  divided  into  two — one  for  Mr.  Mason,  as  a  matter  of  form 
and  of  course,  to  a  member  of  the  Senate  holding  the  office 
at  the  time  of  his  decease;  the  other  for  the  two  other  illus- 
trious patriots.  The  first  was  unanimously  agreed  to;  the  last 
by  a  majority  of  twenty-one  to  ten.  A  message  from  the 
President,  with  several  Indian  Treaties,  was  then  read,  and 
the  Treaty  of  Limits  with  Great  Britain  taken  up  as  in  com- 
mittee of  the  whole.  Mr.  Butler  proposed  an  alteration  in  the 
fifth  article,  and  Mr.  S.  Smith  intimated  that  since  the  ratifi- 
cation of  the  Louisiana  Treaty  this  one  must  not  be  ratified  at 
all.  Adjourned  at  half-past  three.  I  walked  with  Mr.  Wells 
as  far  as  the  President's  house,  where  he,  with  several  others  of 
the  Senators,  dined. 

Day.  From  the  1st  to  the  20th  of  this  month  we  were 
upon  our  journey  from  Quincy  to  Washington,  with  the  cus- 
tomary irregularity  of  travelling.  Here  my  mode  of  life  is  more 
uniform.  I  rise  at  about  seven ;  write  in  my  own  chamber 
until  nine;  breakfast;  dress;  and  soon  after  ten  begin  my  walk 
to  the  Capitol.  The  distance  is  two  miles  and  a  half,  and 
takes  me  forty-five  minutes.  I  get  there  soon  after  eleven,  and 
usually  find  the  Senate  assembled.  We  sit  until  two  or  three, 
and  when  the  adjournment  is  earlier  I  go  in  and  hear  the  de- 
bates in  the  House  of  Representatives.  Home  at  four;  dine, 
and  pass  the  evening  idly  with  George1  in  my  chamber,  or 
with  the  ladies.  They  sup  between  nine  and  ten.  At  eleven 
is  the  hour  for  bed.  This  great  change  in  the  arrangement  of 
my  daily  occupations  and  manner  of  living  has  affected  my 
health  in  some  degree,  and  the  interest  with  which  my  mind 
seizes  hold  of  the  public  business  is  greater  than  suits  my  com- 
fort or  can  answer  any  sort  of  public  utility. 

1  His  son,  at  this  time  three  years  old. 


270  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUIXCY  ADAMS.        [November, 

November  ist.  In  Senate.  The  subject  debated  was  upon 
the  second  reading  of  one  of  the  bills  creating  the  stock  for  the 
payments  required  by  the  Louisiana  Treaty.  A  proviso  at  the 
close  of  the  first  section  appeared  to  me  to  sanction  a  departure 
from  the  terms  of  the  Convention,  and,  to  remove  the  possi- 
bility of  any  such  imputation  in  future,  I  moved  to  insert  the 
words,  "with  the  assent  of  the  French  Government."  Mr.  Tay- 
lor, of  Virginia,  moved  another  amendment  to  the  same  pro- 
viso. They  lie  over  for  consideration  to-morrow.  But  Mr. 
Wright  was  against  every  amendment  that  could  possibly  be 
proposed  to  the  bill,  because  it  was  drawn  up  by  the  Secretary 
of  the  Treasury,  who  could  better  legislate  for  us  on  this  sub- 
ject than  we  can  do  congressionally.  What  will  become  of 
Mr.  Taylor's  amendment  I  know  not.  Mine  will  certainly  not 
pass;  and,  indeed,  I  have  already  seen  enough  to  ascertain  that 
no  amendments  of  my  proposing  will  obtain  in  the  Senate  as 
now  filled.  Nor  was  this  state  of  things  at  all  unexpected  to 
me.  The  qualities  of  mind  most  peculiarly  called  for  under  it 
are  firmness,  perseverance,  patience,  coolness,  and  forbearance. 
The  prospect  is  not  promising;  yet  the  part  to  act  may  be  as 
honorably  performed  as  if  success  could  attend  it.  We  ad- 
journed soon  after  two. 

2d.  The  debate  on  the  bill  creating  11,250,000  dollars  of  six 
per  cent,  stock  was  continued,  and  an  amendment  comprising 
Mr.  Taylor's  proposed  amendment  and  mine  finally  agreed  to. 
Mr.  Wright  explained  away  what  he  said  yesterday  about  the 
Secretary  of  the  Treasury's  drawing  up  the  bill,  &c.  It  passed 
to  the  third  reading,  after  the  rejection  of  a  motion  from  Mr. 
Wright  to  postpone  the  subject  until  the  second  Monday  in 
December,  to  know  whether  the  possession  of  New  Orleans 
will  be  given.  The  other  bill  providing  for  the  payment  of  the 
claims,  four  millions,  passed  the  third  reading.  Adjourned 
half-past  two.  Read  this  evening  to  the  ladies  a  new  play  of 
Colman's — "John  Bull,  or  the  Englishman's  Fireside." 

3d.  Had  a  very  long  debate  in  Senate  on  the  passage  of 
the  act  creating  eleven  millions  of  stock.  The  question  was 
finally  taken  by  yeas  and  nays — twenty-six  yeas,  five  nays.  I 
voted  in  favor  of  this  bill.     Read  part  of  a  play  this  evening 


1803.]  THE   SENATE    OF   THE    UNITED   STATES.  27I 

to  the  ladies — "  The  Marriage  Promise."  But  it  was  so  bad 
I  could  not  finish  it. 

4th.  In  Senate.  Debate  upon  the  Convention  of  Limits  with 
Great  Britain,  dated  12th  May  last.  Mr.  Butler  withdrew  his 
motion  for  an  amendment.  Mr.  Wright  urged  the  objection, 
on  account  of  the  possible  interference  between  this  Treaty  and 
that  containing  the  cession  of  Louisiana.  Subject  further  post- 
poned until  next  Monday.  Mr.  Butler's  proposed  resolution 
for  a  new  negotiation  with  France  was  resumed  and  negatived. 
He  then  called  up  the  resolution  passed  by  the  House  of  Repre- 
sentatives relative  to  the  future  elections  of  President  and 
Vice-President,  and,  the  majority  manifesting  an  aversion  to 
taking  it  up,  he  called  upon  them  for  their  reasons.  When  the 
subject  was  before  the  Senate  before,  he  said,  they  were  for 
hurrying  the  measure  with  extreme  precipitation;  it  was  with  the 
utmost  difficulty  that  he  could  obtain  one  day  for  consideration. 
He  wished  to  know  the  reasons  why  that  excessive  haste  had  now 
given  place  to  the  indifference  and  studied  delay  of  the  present 
time.  He  meant  therefore  to  call  it  up  every  day,  and  demand 
the  yeas  and  nays  every  time  he  should  call  it  up,  until  some 
reason  should  be  given  for  the  neglect  it  now  meets  with.  He 
was  only  answered,  that  every  gentleman  had  his  own  reasons 
for  voting  as  he  pleased,  and  was  not  obliged  to  give  them.  A 
large  majority  determined  against  taking  it  up.  The  reason 
is  that  they  could  not  carry  the  vote  by  the  constitutional 
majority  now ;  and  wait  for  the  arrival  of  the  member  from 
New  York,  who  will  come  instead  of  Mr.  Clinton,  the  return  of 
Mr.  S.  Smith,  who  is  absent,  and  the  arrival  of  General  Sump- 
ter  from  South  Carolina.  Adjourned  at  two,  to  Monday  morn- 
ing. The  editor  of  the  National  Intelligencer,  S.  H.  Smith, 
came  to  me  and  desired  me  to  give  him  the  substance  of  what 
I  said  on  the  debate  yesterday,  for  publication,  as  other  gentle- 
men on  both  sides  of  the  question  had  promised  him  they 
would.     I  agreed  to  furnish  him  with  it.1 

5th.  Detained  at  home  the  whole  day  by  rain.  Read  the 
document   and    correspondence  sent    to  the   Senate  with   the 

1  This  speech  is  found  in  Benton's  Abridgment  of  the  Debates  of  Congress,  vol. 
iii.  p.  18. 


272  MEMOIRS    OF   JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.        [November, 

Louisiana  Treaty.  Mr.  Pichon  called  and  visited  me  this 
morning,  and  Mr.  Madison,  just  before  dinner.  Pichon  appears 
to  be  surprised  at  the  opposition  raised  by  Spain  against  this 
cession,  and  feels  some  irritation  with  the  Marquis  de  Casa 
Yrujo,  the  Spanish  Minister  here,  who,  he  thinks,  in  his  letters 
to  his  Government,  stimulates  their  jealousies  against  the 
United  States. 

7th.  In  Senate.  Met  Mr.  Tracy  and  Mr.  Baldwin,  on  a  com- 
mittee to  whom  was  referred  a  bill  making  an  appropriation  of 
fifty  thousand  dollars  to  carry  into  effect  the  seventh  article  of 
the  Treaty  with  Great  Britain  of  November,  1794.  Postponed 
the  report  to  consult  the  Secretary  of  the  Treasury  on  a  ques- 
tion occurring  from  the  bill.  No  business  of  consequence  was 
done  in  Senate,  and  they  adjourned  early,  until  Thursday,  to 
give  time  for  the  workmen  to  repair  the  ceiling,  which  is  ruinous. 
Another  motive,  not  mentioned,  might  be,  that  the  annual  horse 
races  of  the  city  are  held  this  week.  After  the  adjournment,  I 
called  upon  the  Secretary  of  the  Treasury,  and  consulted  with 
him  on  the  Appropriation  bill ;  upon  which  he  gave  me  the 
information  desired.  I  also  conversed  with  him  respecting  the 
settlement  of  my  accounts,  in  which  I  presume  all  the  diffi- 
culties are  now  removed.  I  called  at  the  Auditor's  office,  but  he 
was  not  there.  Dined,  with  my  wife,  at  the  President's.  The 
company  were  seventeen  in  number:  Mr.  Madison,  his  lady, 
and  her  sister,  Mr.  Wright  and  his  two  daughters,  and  Miss 
Gray,  Mr.  Butler,  and  General  McPherson  of  Philadelphia,  were 
there;  also  Mr.  Eppes  and  Mr.  Randolph,  Mr.  Jefferson's  two 
sons-in-law  and  both  members  of  the  House  of  Represent- 
atives. After  dinner  Mr.  Macon,  the  Speaker  of  the  House, 
and  Mr.  John  Randolph  and  Mr.  Venable,  came  in.  We  came 
home  at  about  six. 

8th.  I  called  this  morning  and  paid  a  visit  to  Mr.  Butler, 
Senator  from  South  Carolina,  whom  I  found  with  his  three 
daughters.  Mr.  Anderson,  of  Tennessee,  was  also  there.  Went 
afterwards  with  my  wife  to  the  races.  We  went  soon  after 
eleven  o'clock,  and  waited  nearly  three  hours  before  they 
began.  In  less  than  an  hour  they  were  over,  and  we  returned 
home  to  dinner.     I  have  never  seen  regular  horse  races  before. 


1803.]  THE   SENATE    OF   THE    UNITED   STATES.  273 

14th.  In  Senate,  where  we  had  a  very  warm  debate  on  the  ques- 
tion for  taking  up  the  resolution  for  an  amendment  of  the  Con- 
stitution. The  motion  was  negatived,  and  the  reason  finally 
avowed.  It  was  some  time  after  three  when  the  adjournment 
took  place. 

15th.  In  Senate.  Executive  business.  The  Convention  of 
Limits  with  England  committed  to  a  select  committee.1  Four 
Indian  Treaties.  Mr.  Breckinridge  offered  a  resolution  for  their 
ratification.  Nominations  acted  upon — some  postponed.  Ad- 
journed after  two. 

17th.  Met  Mr.  John  Smith,  of  Ohio,  and  walked  with  him  to 
the  Senate  chamber.  The  Senate  did  but  little  business,  and 
adjourned  early.  I  called  upon  the  Auditor  at  the  Treasury  to 
see  if  he  was  ready  with  my  accounts,  but  he  was  not.  Called 
also  on  Mr.  Madison,  who  does  not  approve  the  resolution  for 
the  conditional  ratification  of  the  Treaty.  Mr.  Nicholas  had 
been  with  him. 

1 8th.  Attended  in  Senate.  Bill  for  declaring  war  against 
the  Emperor  of  Morocco.  Mr.  Dayton  moved  it  should  be 
read  a  second  time  on  this  day.  Unanimous  consent  was 
necessary,  and  I  alone  objected.  My  principle  was,  that  a 
declaration  of  war  was  the  last  thing  in  the  world  to  be  made 
with  unusual  precipitation.  Executive  business.  The  whole 
day  spent  in  a  debate  about  Abraham  Bishop.  Adjourned  after 
three  o'clock.    Evening  at  home.    I  am  reading  the  Federalist. 

2 1  st.  In  Senate.  On  a  bill  from  the  House  of  Representa- 
tives, equivalent  to  a  declaration  of  war  against  the  Emperor 
of  Morocco,  Mr.  Wright  moved  the  addition  of  a  clause  recog- 
nizing the  principle  that  free  ships  make  free  goods;  which  was 
debated  until  almost  three  o'clock,  when  the  Senate  adjourned. 
Took  from  the  library  the  first  volume  of  Raynal's  History  of 
the  East  and  West  Indies,  of  which  I  read  the  Introduction  to 
the  ladies  in  the  evening. 

22d.  In  Senate.  Mr.  Wright  made  a  speech  of  one  hour 
long  upon  the  question  discussed  yesterday,  concerning  his 
amendment.     His  colleague,  Mr.  S.  Smith,  suggested  the  ne- 

1  The  members  of  the  committee  were   Mr.  Adams,    Mr.  Nicholas,  and  Mr. 
Wright. 


2/4 


MEMOIRS    OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.        [November, 


cessity  of  some  other  amendments  to  the  bill ;  upon  which  it 
was  committed  to  Mr.  S.  Smith,  Mr.  Jackson,  and  myself.  The 
resolutions  for  amending  the  Constitution  wera  taken  up.  Mr. 
Dayton  made  his  motion  for  abolishing  the  office  of  Vice- 
President.  Mr.  Taylor  argued  from  the  words  in  the  Constitu- 
tion, that  amendments  may  be  adopted  whenever  two-thirds  of 
both  Houses  agree  to  them.  A  question  was  made  by  Mr. 
Bradley,  whether  incidental  questions  upon  alterations  in  pro- 
posed amendments  to  the  Constitution  must  be  decided  by 
two-thirds,  or  only  by  a  majority.  The  President  doubted. 
Precedents  were  looked  for,  and  the  subject  postponed.  Ex- 
ecutive business.  Several  nominations  confirmed  ;  one,  among 
the  rest,  of  a  man  stated  by  Mr.  Franklin  to  be  dead — Nicho- 
las Fitzhugh,  nominated  as  one  of  the  Judges  for  the  District 
of  Columbia,  instead  of  James  Marshall,  resigned. 

23d.  In  Senate.  Met  General  Smith  and  General  Jackson  in 
committee  before  the  Senate  assembled.  We  agreed  to  report 
several  sections  proposed  by  General  Smith,  and  disagreed  to 
the  amendment  proposed.  The  report  was  made,  and  is  to  be 
printed.  Debated  the  proposed  amendment  to  the  Constitu- 
tion, on  a  question  of  order,  until  the  adjournment,  after  three 
o'clock.1 

24th.  In  Senate.  I  went  rather  late,  and  found  them  on  the 
debate  for  the  Constitutional  amendment,  which  continued 
until  past  three.  The  question  upon  an  incidental  point,  not 
material  to  the  main  principle.  Debates  warm.  Read  to  the 
ladies  in  the  evening. 

25th.  The  debate  on  the  Constitutional  question  was  post- 
poned, on  account  of  Mr.  Anderson's  absence.  The  bill  for 
hostilities  against  Morocco  passed  to  the  third  reading.  Sundry 
other  business  of  less  importance.  After  the  adjournment,  met 
Mr.  Nicholas  and  Mr.  Wright  in  the  Committee  on  the  Treaty 
of  Limits  with  Great  Britain.  They  directed  me  to  report  a 
postponement  to  the  20th  of  February.2     I  called  this  morning 

1  See  Benton's  Abridgment,  vol.  iii.  p.  21.  Mr.  Dayton  seems  to  have  been 
dissatisfied  with  the  vote  of  Mr.  Adams  in  favor  of  the  amendment. 

3  This  direction  does  not  seem  to  have  been  followed.  See  the  entries  on  the 
2 1  st  and  28th  of  December,  on  which  last  day  Mr.  Adams  made  a  report. 


1803.]  THE   SENATE    OF   THE    UNITED   STATES.  2y$ 

on  Mr.  Madison,  and  had  some  conversation  with  him.  I  laid 
a  motion  on  the  table  for  the  appointment  of  a  committee  to 
inquire  into  the  necessity  of  further  measures  to  carry  into 
effect  the  Louisiana  Treaty. 

28th. "In  Senate.  The  amendment  to  the  Constitution  was 
again  postponed  on  account  of  Mr.  Anderson's  absence.  He 
is  unwell.  Mr.  Wright  gave  up  his  amendment  to  the  Morocco 
bill.  He  laid  a  resolution  on  the  table  for  appointing  a  com- 
mittee to  make  a  form  or  forms  of  government  for  Louisiana. 

29th.  Bankrupt  Law  at  the  second  reading.  Motion  to  commit 
rejected.  Made  the  order  of  the  day  to-morrow.  Had  up  the  pro- 
posed amendment  to  the  Constitution.  I  called  for  the  yeas  and 
nays  on  the  question  for  three  or  five.1  Spoke  in  favor  of  five  and 
against  three — in  vain.  For  five,  yeas  twelve,  nays  nineteen. 
For  three,  yeas  twenty-one,  nays  ten.     Adjourned  about  four. 

30th.  Mr.  Taylor  determined  to  take  the  final  question  on 
the  amendment  this  day,  as  Mr.  Condit  is  obliged  to  go  away 
to-morrow.  But,  after  debating  until  four  o'clock,  it  was  found 
impossible.  Mr.  Condit  agreed  to  stay  to-morrow,  and  the 
question  is  adjourned  until  then. 

December  1st.  The  debate  on  the  Constitutional  amendment 
was  again  resumed.  A  new  proposition  to  provide  for  the  case 
of  a  non-election  by  the  House  of  Representatives  was  made, 
and  occasioned  a  variety  of  motions  and  discussions  until  the 
adjournment.  The  ladies  took  me  home.  They  had  been  to 
hear  the  debate.  The  final  question  was  still  postponed.  Mr. 
Condit  was  absent  from  his  seat,  his  daughter  being  dead,  so 
that  he  will  probably  not  go. 

2d.  In  Senate  from  eleven  this  morning  until  almost  ten  at 
night,  when  the  question  on  the  proposed  amendment  to  the 

1  The  disputed  provision  in  this  case  was  that,  in  the  event  of  a  failure  to  elect 
a  President  by  a  majority  of  the  electors,  the  House  of  Representatives  should 
choose  one  from  the  persons  having  the  highest  number  of  votes,  not  exceeding 
three.  The  motion  was  to  strike  out  the  number  three  and  insert  five.  Mr.  Adams 
argued  and  voted  in  favor  of  five.  On  the  other  hand,  his  colleague,  Mr.  Picker- 
ing, argued  and  voted  for  three.  It  may  be  remarked  that  in  the  only  case  of  an 
election  under  this  clause  of  the  Constitution  the  success  of  Mr.  Adams  himself 
was  materially  promoted  by  the  operation  of  the  restricted  number  which  he 
opposed. 


2^6  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.        [December, 

Constitution  was  taken  and  carried— twenty-two  yeas  and  ten 
nays,  among  which  was  my  vote.  Several  good  speeches  were 
made  by  the  members  in  the  minority.  That  by  Mr.  Tracy 
was  peculiarly  excellent.  On  the  other  hand,  Mr.  Taylor's  was 
unquestionably1  the  best.  It  was  almost  eleven  whe"n  I  got 
home,  having  fasted  the  whole  day. 

4th.  Visited  Mr.  Lincoln,  the  Attorney-General,  and  Mr. 
Tracy,  with  whom  I  had  some  particular  conversation.  Mr. 
Griswold  came  in,  and  I  unwisely  continued  the  conversation. 
Detained  Mr.  Tracy  from  his  dinner. 

My  self-examination  this  night  gave  rise  to  many  mortifying 
reflections.  This  practice — to  which  I  have  long  accustomed 
myself,  in  compliance  with  an  ancient  rule — is  itself  not  so  satis- 
factory as  in  theory  it  appears.  Of  the  errors,  imprudences, 
and  follies  which  reflection  discovers  to  me  in  my  own  conduct 
I  do  not  correct  myself  by  the  discovery.  Pride  and  self-con- 
ceit and  presumption  lie  so  deep  in  my  natural  character,  that, 
when  their  deformity  betrays  them,  they  run  through  all  the 
changes  of  Proteus,  to  disguise  themselves  to  my  own  heart.  I 
often  see  and  often  condemn  my  faults.  But  for  the  efficacy  of 
correction  I  am  afraid  some  penalty  is  necessary.  Voluntary 
penance  is  excluded  from  our  system  of  morality,  as  a  super- 
stitious practice,  and  I  have  never  tried  it.  Yet  to  render  self- 
examination  of  much  use,  I  believe  it  necessary. 

5th.  Returned  the  visit  of  Mr.  Merry,  the  British  Minister, 
who  has  just  arrived.  He  was  not  at  home.  In  Senate,  which 
was  thinner  than  it  has  been  heretofore.  The  great  question 
being  decided,  many  of  the  members  think  they  may  now  in- 
dulge themselves  in  some  relaxation.  Mr.  Tracy  made  a  mo- 
tion for  a  committee  to  report  amendments  to  the  Bankrupt 
Law,  instead  of  repealing  it.  This  prevented  the  repeal  from 
passing  this  day  to  the  third  reading.  Mr.  Wright's  motion  for 
appointing  a  committee  to  make  a  form  or  forms  of  govern- 
ment for  Louisiana  was  considered.  I  opposed  the  appoint- 
ment of  such  a  committee,  on  the  ground  that  we  ought  to 
make  no  form  of  government  for  them  without  consulting  the 
people,  and  without  knowing  something  more  of  them.     The 

1  See  Benton's  Abridgment,  vol.  iii.  pp.  27-37. 


1803.]  THE   SENATE    OF   THE    UNITED   STATES.  277 

committee,  however,  was  appointed, — five  members.  Mr.  But- 
ler laid  on  the  table  a  motion  for  a  rule  of  order  respecting 
reconsiderations.  Senate  rose  about  three.  I  called  at  Stella's 
to  see  Mr.  W.  Smith,  late  Minister  at  Lisbon,  who  has  just 
returned  from  Europe ;  but  he  was  not  at  his  lodgings.  I  had 
a  short  conversation  with  Mr.  Tracy.  I  took  again  this  day 
too  much  part  in  the  debate.  I  must  check  myself,  or  become 
worse  than  ridiculous. 

6th.  The  bill  for  repealing  the  Bankrupt  Law  was  made  the 
order  of  the  day  for  to-morrow.  Bill  for  establishing  the  salaries 
of  the  executive  officers  had  the  second  reading.  Indiana 
Territory  bill  passed.  The  Senate  adjourned  early.  I  went 
into  the  House  of  Representatives,  where  they  debated,  on  the 
proposed  amendment  to  the  Constitution,  the  question  whether 
two-thirds  of  the  members  present,  being  a  quorum  to  do  busi- 
ness, are  competent  to  propose  amendments,  or  whether  it  does 
not  require  two-thirds  of  the  whole  number.  Decided  that 
two-thirds  of  the  members  present  are  sufficient. 

7th.  Mr.  Burr,  the  Vice-President  of  the  United  States,  at- 
tended, and  took  the  chair,  as  President  of  the  Senate.  General 
Armstrong,  appointed  by  the  Governor  of  New  York  a  Senator 
instead  of  De  Witt  Clinton,  also  took  his  seat.  All  the  busi- 
ness before  the  Senate  was  postponed,  and  a  very  early  adjourn- 
ment took  place.  I  went  into  the  House  of  Representatives, 
and  heard  a  debate  on  the  proposed  amendment  of  the  Consti- 
tution, until  past  four  o'clock;  left  the  House  still  engaged 
upon  it.  They  sat  until  nine  in  the  evening,  and  did  not  take 
the  final  question. 

8th.  Mr.  Tracy  has  not  attended  in  Senate  these  two  days. 
The  debate  this  day  was  on  the  repeal  of  the  Bankrupt  Law. 
Continued  until  four  o'clock,  when  an  adjournment  took  place 
without  coming  to  a  decision.  Several  amendments  were  at- 
tempted, to  prevent  the  decision  on  the  question  of  absolute 
repeal ;  but  all  were  rejected.  This  morning  at  ten  the  com- 
mittee to  prepare  forms  of  government  for  Louisiana  were  to 
have  met ;  but  three  out  of  five  were  too  late.  We  are  to  meet 
to-morrow. 

9th.  Met  the  committee  to  prepare  a  form  or  forms  of  gov- 


278  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.         [December, 

ernment  for  Louisiana — Mr.  Breckinridge,  Chairman,  Mr.  Bald- 
win, and  Mr.  Wright  (Mr.  Jackson,  the  other  member  of  the 
committee,  was  absent  from  illness).  We  had  some  conversa- 
tion on  the  subject.  Mr.  Breckinridge  had  a  form  of  govern- 
ment ready  prepared.  My  ideas  are  so  different  from  those 
entertained  by  the  committee,  that  I  have  nothing  to  do  but  to 
make  fruitless  opposition.  In  Senate  the  repeal  of  the  Bank- 
rupt Law  was  passed  to  a  third  reading.  My  motion  for  a 
committee  to  inquire  and  report  further  measures  to  carry  into 
effect  the  Louisiana  Treaty  was  considered  and  rejected.  Mr. 
Pickering  and  Mr.  Hillhouse  only  supported  it.  The  Constitu- 
tional amendment  passed  this  day  the  House  of  Representatives. 

ioth.  I  called  this  morning  at  the  Secretary  of  State's  office, 
and  had  some  conversation  with  Mr.  Wagner.  Among  other 
things,  he  read  me  Mr.  Marbois'  project  for  the  Louisiana 
Treaty,  and  told  me  there  had  been  addresses  from  some  in- 
habitants of  Louisiana,  soliciting  the  Government  of  the  United 
States  to  take  possession  of  that  country  before  the  Treaty  was 
made. 

1 2th.  At  the  Senate,  Mr.  Butler's  proposed  amendment  to  the 
Constitution  was  rejected.  The  yeas  four,  nays  twenty-seven. 
That  which  has  passed  both  Houses  came  enrolled,  with  a  reso- 
lution requesting  the  President  to  transmit  copies  of  it  to  the 
executives  of  the  several  States  to  be  laid  before  the  several 
legislatures.  Mr.  Tracy  moved  that  the  amendment  should  be 
sent  to  the  President  for  his  signature.  This  was  rejected.  Yeas 
seven,  nays  twenty-four.  The  order  requesting  the  President  to 
transmit  the  copies  was  then  passed.    Adjourned  half-past  three. 

13th.  We  had  another  debate  this  morning  concerning  sev- 
enteen copies  of  the  amendment  to  the  Constitution ;  and  a 
letter  from  the  Secretary  of  the  Senate  to  defend  himself  against 
an  outrageous  and  totally  unjustifiable  insult  offered  him  yes- 
terday in  debate  by  Mr.  Wright.  Afterwards  the  bill  to  repeal 
the  Bankrupt  Act  was  read  the  third  time,  and  passed.  Yeas 
seventeen,  nays  twelve.  Mr.  Venable,  a  Senator  from  Virginia, 
in  the  room  of  Mr.  Taylor,  produced  his  credentials  and  took 
his  seat  and  the  oath. 

14th.  The  principal  business  this  day  was  a  debate  upon  a 


1 803.]  THE   SENATE    OF   THE    UNITED   STATES. 


279 


bill  for  fixing  the  salaries  of  certain  officers  in  the  executive 
departments.  Those  of  the  Postmaster-General  and  his  assist- 
ant were  raised.  One  or  two  other  bills  of  minor  importance 
were  read  the  third  time  and  passed.  Adjourned  at  three.  I 
went  into  the  House  of  Representatives,  where  they  were  de- 
bating on  a  bill  to  abolish  the  Commissioners  of  Loans.  Dr. 
Eustis  spoke,  and  Mr.  J.  Randolph,  Jr. 

15th.  The  two  Senators  from  the  State  of  Ohio  were  classed. 
Mr.  Worthington  drew  a  lot  for  four  years,  and  Mr.  Smith  a  lot 
for  six.  The  Salary  bill  was  read  the  third  time  and  passed. 
The  question  negatived  yesterday  was  again  debated  and  re- 
jected. On  executive  business  several  nominations  to  offices 
were  confirmed.     Adjourned  between  two  and  three. 

1 6th.  There  was  very  little  business  for  the  Senate  to  do,  and 
they  adjourned  early,  after  appointing  several  committees.  I 
went  into  the  House  of  Representatives,  where  they  were 
debating  in  committee  of  the  whole  a  bill  to  introduce  our 
revenue  system  into  Louisiana.  It  passed  in  the  committee, 
and  in  the  House,  at  the  second  reading.  I  understand  no  oppo- 
sition is  intended  against  it.  So  at  least  Mr.  Huger  told  me. 
Senate  adjourned  to  Monday. 

17th.  Mr.  Breckinridge  appointed  a  meeting  of  the  Louisi- 
ana Government  Committee  for  ten  o'clock  this  morning.  The 
members  all  met  accordingly,  excepting  Mr.  Wright.  The  sub- 
ject was  discussed  until  almost  two  o'clock.  The  majority 
agreed  upon  several  principles,  on  which  the  chairman  is  to 
draw  up  his  bill.  My  objections  were  and  will  be  of  no  avail. 
Paid  a  visit  to  the  Vice-President,  who  was  not  at  home. 

19th.  The  principal  debate  of  this  day  was  on  a  motion  of 
Mr.  Wright  for  a  rule  of  order  allowing  every  member  of  the 
Senate  to  introduce  his  friends  upon  the  floor  of  the  House. 
It  was  finally  rejected. 

20th.  Going  to  the  Senate  this  morning,  the  Vice-President1 
in  his  carriage  overtook  me,  and  offered  me  a  seat,  which  I 
accepted.  He  inquired  after  my  father,  and  spoke  of  his  social 
intimacy  with  him  when  he  was  a  Senator  and  my  father  Vice- 
President.     The  Senate  had  little  business  before  them,  and 

1  Aaron  Burr. 


28o  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.        [December, 

soon  adjourned.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Huger  and  Mr.  Purviance,  a 
member  of  Congress  from  North  Carolina,  passed  the  evening 
with  us.     Snow. 

2 ist.  Of  the  committee  appointed  to  inquire  and  report  on 
the  Treaty  of  Limits  with  Great  Britain,  Mr.  Nicholas  is  absent, 
and  Mr.  Wright  and  myself  could  not  agree  upon  a  report.  I 
moved  that  the  committee  should  be  discharged ;  which,  after 
debate,  was  rejected,  and  Mr.  Venable  added  to  the  committee 
in  the  room  of  Mr.  Nicholas.  A  message  was  received  from 
the  President,  containing  a  long  correspondence  between  Mr. 
Pinckney  and  the  Spanish  Government,  the  reading  of  which 
took  more  than  two  hours.  Adjourned  after  three.  I  rode  to 
the  Capitol  with  the  ladies,  who  were  visiting.  Received  there 
the  news  of  the  death  of  my  excellent  friend  William  Vans 
Murray,  one  of  the  dearest  and  oldest  friends  I  had.1 

22d.  The  Salary  bill  was  returned  to  us  from  the  House  of 
Representatives,  as  I  expected,  with  the  amendments  disagreed 
to.  The  Senate  insisted  and  appointed  conferees.  I  think  they 
will  finally  be  compelled  to  recede.  Second  reading  of  a  bill 
for  punishing  the  crime  of  destroying  ships.  It  was  recom- 
mitted, and  two  additional  members  put  on  the  committee. 
Mr.  Bradley  offered  a  resolution  respecting  the  Spanish  Con- 
vention. To  lie  for  consideration.  A  resolution  was  moved 
by  Mr.  S.  Smith  to  adjourn  from  to-morrow  until  Monday,  2d 
January,  1804.  On  the  vote,  twelve  for,  twelve  against  the 
resolution,  the  Vice-President  decided  against  it.  Mr.  Tracy 
gave  notice  he  should  renew  the  motion  to-morrow. 

23d.  Mr.  Tracy  renewed  in  Senate  the  motion  to  adjourn  till 
2d  January  next,  which  was  rejected  by  yeas  and  nays,  eleven 
and  nine.  The  Louisiana  Revenue  bill  was  reported  with 
amendments  by  the  select  committee.  Mr.  Venable  and  Mr. 
Wright,  on  the  English  Treaty  Committee  with  me,  could  not 
agree  between  themselves,  nor  either  of  them  with  me.     The 

1  Mr.  Murray  served  in  the  House  of  Representatives  of  the  United  States  in  the 
Second,  Third,  and  Fourth  Congresses.  He  was  then  appointed  by  President  Wash- 
ington to  succeed  Mr.  Adams  as  Minister  Resident  at  the  Hague,  and  subsequently 
was  made,  by  President  John  Adams,  one  of  the  three  Envoys  in  the  mission  to 
France  in  1S00,  which  brought  to  a  happy  termination  the  misunderstanding  with 
that  country. 


1803.]  THE   SENATE    OF   THE    UNITED   STATES.  28l 

committee  are  to  meet  again  next  Tuesday.  I  got  almost 
soaked  through  on  returning  home  from  the  Senate — which 
made  me  so  late  that  we  found  them  at  dinner  at  the  Presi- 
dent's. Mr.  R.  Smith  and  lady,  Mr.  Wright  and  his  daughters, 
Mr.,  Mrs.,  and  Miss  McCreery,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Livingston,  were 
there. 

24th.  Attended  the  Louisiana  Government  Committee,  who 
were  all  assembled,  and  who  had  three  projects  before  them 
— one,  Mr.  Breckinridge's ;  one,  General  Jackson's ;  and  one, 
Mr.  Wright's.  The  committee  came  to  no  final  determination, 
and  are  to  meet  again  on  Monday. 

28th.  In  the  Senate,  I  finally  made  a  report  from  the  Com- 
mittee on  the  Treaty  with  England,  which  was  made  the  order 
for  to-morrow.  The  Vice-President  attended,  and  explained 
the  occasion  of  his  absence  yesterday.  He  was  returning  from 
Annapolis,  and  was  delayed  by  the  swelling  of  the  waters  of  the 
Patuxent.  It  was  from  thence  that  he  sent  by  express  the 
apology  which  was  read  yesterday.  Nothing  of  consequence 
was  transacted. 

29th.  I  returned  visits  to  Governor  St.  Clair,  at  Georgetown, 
who  called  on  me  two  or  three  days  since,  and  to  Mr.  Thatcher, 
on  the  Capitol  Hill.  In  Senate,  the  first  amendment  to  the 
Louisiana  Revenue  bill  was  read  and  discussed;  but  the  ques- 
tion was  not  taken  upon  it.  Walking  home,  I  was  overtaken 
by  Mr.  Eppes,1  who  has  been  ten  days  absent.  The  conferees 
of  the  two  Houses  on  the  Salary  bill  could  not  agree ;  both 
Houses  adhered  to  their  intentions,  and  the  bill  was  lost.  Mr. 
and  Mrs.  Pichon  spent  the  evening  here. 

30th.  The  Senate  debated  again  the  amendments  reported 
by  the  committee  to  the  Louisiana  Revenue  bill,  but  without 
taking  the  question  upon  the  first,  and  those  connected  with  it. 
The  other  committee  to  prepare  forms  of  government  likewise 
met  and  agreed  upon  a  report,  which  was  made  to  the  House 
and  read  for  the  first  time.  Adjourned  at  three.  In  the  even- 
ing I  went  with  my  wife  to  Mr.  Robert  Smith's,  where  there 

1  Mr.  Eppes  had  married  a  daughter  of  President  Jefferson.  He  was  a  member 
of  the  House  of  Representatives  in  the  Seventh,  Eighth,  Ninth,  Tenth,  and  Twelfth 
Congresses,  and  a  Senator  in  1817-1819.     He  died  in  1823. 


282  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.        [December. 

was  a  ball.  The  company  large.  I  played  chess  with  General 
Dayton,  who  beat  me,  and  with  Mr.  Madison. 

31st.  Day.  Differs  only  from  that  of  the  last  month  by  a 
greater  frequency  of  dining  and  passing  evenings  abroad. 

The  year  now  closing  has  been  made  remarkable  as  a  part  of 
my  life,  by  one  very  unfortunate  occurrence,  and  by  several 
events  which  call  for  gratitude  to  an  overruling  Providence. 

The  failure  of  a  commercial  house  in  London,  with  which 
I  had  deposited  a  considerable  part  of  my  father's  property, 
brought  upon  him  a  loss  which  is  more  distressing  to  me  than 
to  himself.  It  put  me  to  great  inconvenience  to  make  the  pro- 
visions to  supply  the  chasm  created  by  this  circumstance  ;  but 
its  effects  in  diminishing  the  comforts  of  my  father's  age  have 
been  among  the  most  painful  things  that  ever  happened  to  me. 
I  have  in  some  degree  shared  in  the  loss,  and  have  done  all  in 
my  power  to  alleviate  its  evils  to  him.  But  it  has  been  and 
remains  a  continual  source  of  uneasiness  to  me;  nor  have  I  any 
prospect  that  it  will  ever  be  removed.  In  the  disposal  of  my 
property,  however,  to  meet  the  necessities  which  arose  from 
the  protest  and  return  of  the  bills  I  had  drawn  on  the  house,  I 
met  with  several  facilities  and  advantages  which  I  had  no  right 
to  expect.  The  calamity  has  fallen  the  lighter  for  this,  and  my 
own  property  has  remained  nearly  in  its  former  state.  In  my 
family  I  have  been  highly  favored  by  the  birth  of  a  second  son, 
and  the  unusual  degree  of  health  which  we  have  all  enjoyed. 
The  restoration  of  my  mother,  too,  from  the  gates  of  death, 
and  from  a  confinement  of  five  months,  has  filled  my  heart  with 
the  purest  of  enjoyments.  My  election  as  a  Senator  of  the 
United  States,  for  six  years,  has  been  the  only  important  in- 
cident of  my  political  career.  It  has  opened  to  me  a  scene  in 
some  sort  though  not  altogether  new,  and  will  probably  affect 
very  materially  my  future  situation  in  life.  I  have  already  had 
occasion  to  experience,  what  I  had  before  the  fullest  reason 
to  expect,  the  danger  of  adhering  to  my  own  principles.  The 
country  is  so  totally  given  up  to  the  spirit  of  party,  that  not  to 
follow  blindfold  the  one  or  the  other  is  an  inexpiable  offence. 
The  worst  of  these  parties  has  the  popular  torrent  in  its  favor, 
and  uses  its  triumph  with  all  the  unprincipled  fury  of  a  faction; 


1804.]  THE   SENATE    OF    THE    UNITED   STATES. 


283 


while  the  other  gnashes  its  teeth,  and  is  waiting  with  all  the 
impatience  of  revenge  for  the  time  when  its  turn  may  come  to 
oppress  and  punish  by  the  people's  favor.  Between  both,  I 
see  the  impossibility  of  pursuing  the  dictates  of  my  own  con- 
science without  sacrificing  every  prospect,  not  merely  of  ad- 
vancement, but  even  of  retaining  that  character  and  reputation 
I  have  enjoyed.  Yet  my  choice  is  made,  and,  if  I  cannot  hope 
to  give  satisfaction  to  my  country,  I  am  at  least  determined  to 
have  the  approbation  of  my  own  reflections. 

January  3d,  1804.  The  Senate  began  seriously  the  trans- 
action of  business  again  since  Christmas.  House  of  Repre- 
sentatives sent  a  message  to  announce  that  they  had  prepared 
articles  of  impeachment1  and  chosen  managers  to  conduct 
them.  Resolved  to  receive  the  managers  at  twelve  o'clock  to- 
morrow. Mr.  Tracy  moved  a  resolution  for  the  Senate  to  form 
itself  into  a  Court  of  Impeachment,  which  was  finally  adopted. 
Some  further  progress  was  made  in  the  Louisiana  Revenue  bill. 
Almost  four  when  we  adjourned. 

4th.  In  Senate  I  moved  a  resolution  declaring  persons  who 
had  voted  on  impeachments  in  the  House  of  Representatives 
disqualified  to  act  in  the  Senate  in  the  same  case.  Accuser  and 
judge  are  not,  in  my  opinion,  compatible  characters.  The 
subject  was  postponed.  The  managers  from  the  House  re- 
ceived, and  the  articles  of  impeachment  read.  Further  order 
to  be  taken.  In  executive  business,  debated  the  question  on 
the  ratification  of  the  Treaty  of  Limits  with  Great  Britain,  but 
did  not  take  the  question. 

5th.  The  Committee  of  Arrangements  this  day  moved  an 
adjournment  of  the  Court  of  Impeachment  distinct  from  that  of 
the  Senate  ;  which  was  carried  unanimously.  The  Court  ad- 
journed till  Monday  next.  The  Louisiana  Revenue  bill ;  after 
further  debate,  it  was  at  length  agreed  to  strike  out  the  principle 
of  the  first  section ;  but  recommitment  was  refused.  General 
S.  Smith  made  a  report,  from  a  committee  of  which  I  was  a 
member,  and  of  whose  meeting  I  had  never  heard.     Upon  my 

1  Against  John  Pickering,  Judge  of  the  District  Court  of  the  United  States  for 
New  Hampshire.  This  was  the  commencement  of  the  formidable  attempt  of  the 
legislative  to  control  the  judicial  department  of  the  government. 


23a  MEMOIRS    OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [January, 

stating  the  fact,  he  apologized  tant  bien  que  mal,  took  back  his 
report,  and  notified  the  committee  to  meet  to-morrow  morning 
at  half-past  eleven. 

6th.  Met  the  committee  this  morning,  but  did  not  get 
through  our  business.  To  meet  again  to-morrow  morning. 
At  last  the  Senate  agreed  to  recommit  the  Louisiana  Revenue 
bill  to  a  new  committee  of  five.  A  bill  of  a  private  nature 
was  discussed  at  the  second  reading.  Amendments  proposed 
by  a  committee.  I  took  no  part  in  the  debate.  Tried  to 
bring  on  the  discussion  of  the  Treaty  of  Limits  with  England, 
but  without  success.  After  the  adjournment  I -went  into  the 
House,  where  the  debate  was  on  a  motion  for  inquiry  into  the 
official  conduct  of  Judge  Chase  and  Judge  Peters.  Mr. 
Lowndes  lent  me  the  late  pamphlet  in  defence  of  the  Vice- 
President.  Read  about  half  of  it  this  evening.  Senate  ad- 
journed to  Monday. 

7th.  Committee  met  and  agreed  upon  their  report.  Curious 
conversation  between  S.  Smith,  Breckinridge,  Armstrong,  and 
Baldwin,  about  "Smith's  nephew,  the  First  Consul's  brother."1 
Smith  swells  upon  it  to  very  extraordinary  dimensions.  Called 
in  at  the  House,  where  they  decided  for  the  Committee  of  En- 
quiry,2 eighty  to  forty.  I  went  with  Mr. Tracy  to  his  chamber, 
and  had  a  conversation  with  him  upon  some  resolutions  which 
I  propose  to  offer  the  Senate.  It  is  another  feather  against  a 
whirlwind.  A  desperate  and  fearful  cause  in  which  I  have 
embarked.  But  I  must  pursue  it,  or  feel  myself  either,  a  cow- 
ard or  a  traitor.  Mr.  Tracy  approves  my  purpose,  promises 
his  support,  and  suggested  to  me  some  important  ideas  for  the 
modification  of  my  resolutions.  Tea  and  spent  the  evening  at 
Mr.  Pichon's.3  Citizen  Jerome  Bonaparte  and  his  wife  there 
— also  the  Vice-President,  Secretaries,  and  several  Frenchmen. 
Played  chess  with  one  of  them,  who  beat  me  one  game  and 
gave    me    another.      Pichon    is    profoundly   mortified    at    the 

i  Samuel  Smith,  whose  services,  commencing  in  the  Revolutionary  War,  were 
continued  in  the  two  Houses  of  Congress  for  thirty  years.  Jerome  Bonaparte  had 
married  his  niece,  Miss  Patterson. 

•  In  the  case  of  Judge  Chase. 

J  Mr.  Pichon  was  at  this  time  acting  as  Charge  d'Affaires  of  the  French  Re- 
public. 


1S04.]  THE   SENATE    OF   THE    UNITED   STATES.  285 

marriage  of  Jerome.  He  says  it  is  impossible  the  First  Consul 
should  put  up  with  it — 'tis  a  marriage  against  many  laws, 
many  usages,  many  opinions,  and  many  prejudices,  personal, 
official,  and  national,  of  the  First  Consul.  Jerome  is  not  of 
age ;  he  is  an  officer ;  he  is  the  First  Consul's  brother.  The 
marriage  will  undoubtedly  be  broken.  But  P.  hopes  it  will  not 
affect  the  national  honor.  He  has  given  express  warning  of 
all  these  facts  to  the  lady's  parents.  But  they  have  such  an 
inconceivable  infatuation,  they  and  the  whole  family  of  the 
Smiths,  for  the  match,  that  make  it  they  must;  and  it  was 
really  the  young  man  who  was  seduced.  Sam.  Smith's  wife 
and  Miss  Patterson's  mother  were  sisters — Spears;  and  even 
the  sound  sense  of  Mr.  Nicholas,  who  he  believes  also  married 
a  Spear,  had  not  been  proof  against  this  ridiculous  vanity. 
Pichon's  fears  may  be  carried  too  far — the  First  Consul  may 
think  it  politic  to  make  the  best  of  what  has  happened;  but  all 
the  chances  of  rational  probability  are  the  other  way.  I  have 
not  heard  Nicholas  say  any  thing  on  this  subject;  but  the 
Smiths  are  so  elated  with  their  supposed  elevation  by  this  ad- 
venture, that  one  step  more  would  fit  them  for  the  discipline  of 
Dr.  Willis.1 

8th.  Rain  and  snow  the  whole  day,  so  that  I  could  not  go 
out.  Employed  the  day  in  reading  and  writing.  Varied  the 
resolutions  which  I  have  concluded  to  offer  to  the  Senate  on 
the  subject  of  the  Louisiana  revenue.  The  subject  has  already 
given  me  more  than  one  sleepless  night.  Yet  for  what?  For 
the  Constitution  I  have  sworn  to  support — for  the  Treaty  that 
binds  our  national  faith — for  the  principles  of  Justice — and 
for  opposing  to  the  utmost  of  my  power  those  who  in  this 
measure  will  violate  them  all. 

9th.  Senate.  Court  of  Impeachment  opened.  Received 
from  the  Committee  of  Arrangements  a  report,  which  is  to 
be  printed,  and  considered  to-morrow.  Executive  business. 
Spanish  Convention  ratified.  Treaty  of  Limits  with  Great 
Britain  further  debated,  but  no  question  taken.  Committee 
appointed  on  a  resolution  of  Mr.  Bradley's,  on  the  opinions  of 

1  The  person  who  undertook  the  medical  treatment  of  George  the  Third  after  his 
loss  of  reason. 


286  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [January, 

the  lawyers,  communicated  among  the  documents  of  the 
Spanish  negotiation.  Dined  with  the  Vice-President.  Messrs. 
Wells,  Stedman,  Dwight,  Hastings,  Mitchell,  Betton,  and 
Thatcher  dined  there.  Mr.  Burr  is  a  man  of  very  insinuating 
manners  and  address.  Walked  home  alone  in  the  evening. 
Finished  reading  the  pamphlet  which  defends  Mr.  Burr  against 
the  attacks  he  has  sustained.  It  is  well  written,  but  would  bear 
some  pruning  to  much  advantage. 

ioth.  I  have  at  length  obtained  the  final  settlement  of  my 
accounts  during  the  period  of  my  missions  in  Europe,  from 
1794  to  1 80 1.  I  this  morning  called  at  the  Register's  office, 
and  there  found  a  warrant  from  the  Secretary  of  the  Treasury 
for  the  balance  due  me  on  this  final  settlement.  My  own 
account  claimed  61  dollars  31  cents  balance.  By  the  settle- 
ment of  the  Treasury  officers,  they  found  the  balance  due  me 
was  118  dollars  38  cents.  The  warrant  was  for  this  sum.  I 
carried  it  to  the  Treasurer,  who  endorsed  on  it  an  order  on  the 
bank,  which  I  presented,  and  received  the  money.  Thus  closes 
that  transaction. 

In  Senate.  The  Court  of  Impeachment  discussed  the  report 
of  their  committee  in  part,  and  recommitted  it.  Several  bills 
passed;  among  the  rest,  the  bill  for  the  punishment  of  ship- 
burning,  &c,  to  the  third  reading.  I  presented  my  three  reso- 
lutions, which  raised  a  storm  as  violent  as  I  expected.1  General 
Jackson  moved  to  postpone  their  consideration  until  the  first 
Monday  in  November,  and  afterwards  withdrew  his  motion. 

1  The  resolutions,  as  recorded  in  the  Journal  of  the  Senate  for  this  day,  are  to 
this  effect : 

Resolved,  That  the  people  of  the  United  States  have  never  in  any  manner  dele- 
gated to  this  Senate  the  power  of  giving  its  legislative  concurrence  to  any  act  for 
imposing  taxes  upon  the  inhabitants  of  Louisiana  without  their  consent. 

Resolved,  That  by  concurring  in  any  act  of  legislation  for  imposing  taxes  upon 
the  inhabitants  of  Louisiana  without  their  consent,  the  Senate  would  assume  a 
power  unwarranted  by  the  Constitution  and  dangerous  to  the  liberties  of  the  people 
of  the  United  States. 

Resolved,  That,  the  power  of  originating  bills  for  raising  revenue  being  exclu- 
sively vested  in  the  House  of  Representatives,  these  resolutions  be  carried  to  them 
by  the  Secretary  of  the  Senate,  that  whenever  they  think  proper  they  may  adopt 
such  measures  as  to  their  wisdom  may  appear  necessary  and  expedient  for  raising 
and  collecting  a  revenue  from  Louisiana. 


1S04.]  THE   SENATE    OF   THE    UNITED   STATES.  2%7 

After  a  debate  of  about  three  hours,  the  resolutions  were  re- 
jected. Yeas  four,  nays  twenty-one,  on  the  first  two.  The  third 
depending  upon  them,  and  being  decided  by  the  rejection  of 
them,  I  offered  to  waive  taking  the  question  on  it.  But  no — the 
yeas  and  nays  should  be  taken  upon  that,  for  I  had  required 
they  should  be  taken  separately  on  the  other  two.  Of  course 
the  third  was  unanimously  rejected.  Mr.  Pickering  did  not 
hear  the  discussion,  and,  at  his  request,  was  excused  from  vot- 
ing. Mr.  Hillhouse  went  away,  to  avoid  voting  also,  as  I  pre- 
sume. Mr.  Dayton  and  Mr.  Plumer,  federalists,  voted  against 
the  resolutions.  Mr.  Wells  was  absent.  Mr.  Tracy,  Mr.  01- 
cott,  and  Mr.  White  only  voted  with  me.  I  have  no  doubt  of 
incurring  much  censure  and  obloquy  for  this  measure.  I  hope 
I  shall  be  prepared  for  it,  and  able  to  bear  it,  from  the  conscious- 
ness of  my  sincerity  and  my  duty.  Adjourned  at  half-past  four. 
In  the  evening  I  finished  reading  Montesquieu  on  the  Romans. 

nth.  The  bill  to  punish  ship-burning  passed  the  third  read- 
ing. The  offence  is  made  capital.  We  shall  now  see  what  the 
House  of  Representatives  will  do  with  it.  The  remainder  of 
the  morning  was  occupied  in  the  Court  of  Impeachment  and 
discussing  the  report  of  the  Committee  of  Arrangements.  The 
form  of  summons  to  Judge  Pickering  and  the  person  to  serve 
it  (the  Sergeant-at-Arms)  were  agreed  to.  A  long  debate  on 
the  return  day  arose,  and  the  question  upon  it  was  not  finally 
taken. 

1 2th.  Report  of  the  Committee  of  Arrangements  again  taken 
up  in  Senate,  and  finally  the  return  day  was  agreed  to  be  the 
second  day  of  March.  Forms  of  subpoenas  were  also  agreed 
to,  and  a  resolve  adopted  to  send  by  the  Sergeant-at-Arms  a 
dozen  blanks  to  Mr.  Pickering,  to  be  used  by  him  if  he  thinks 
proper. 

13th.  The  amendments  of  the  committee  to  the  Louisiana 
Revenue  bill  were  adopted,  and  the  bill  passed  to  a  third  read- 
ing. The  Government  bill  was  taken  up,  and  some  progress  in 
it  made,  but  no  question  upon  it  taken.  My  warmth  of  oppo- 
sition against  those  measures  had  reconciled  some  persons  to 
it,  who  hate  me  rather  more  than  they  love  any  principle.  I 
wait  for  the  decision  of  time,  and  pray  for  moderation  as  well 


288  MEMOIRS   OF  JOffiV  QUhVCY  ADAMS.  [January, 

as  firmness  in  my  adherence  to  my  principles.     These  are  now 
almost  totally  unsupported. 

14th.  The  Senate  met,  though  on  Saturday,  to  pass  the 
Louisiana  Revenue  bill,  which  they  did  ;  yeas  twenty-nine,  nays 
three.  Mr.  Tracy,  Mr.  Hillhouse,  and  Mr.  White  were  absent. 
Mr.  Pickering  voted  for  the  bill,  and  enjoyed  no  small  satisfaction 
in  his  vote.  Before  I  presented  my  resolutions  denying  the  right 
of  the  Senate  to  concur  in  a  bill  for  taxing  the  people  of  Loui- 
siana without  their  consent,  I  showed  them  to  Mr.  Pickering, 
and  had  a  free  conversation  with  him  upon  them,  and  he  made 
no  objection  against  them.  On  the  day  when  they  were  dis- 
cussed, he  affectedly  left  his  seat,  went  out  of  the  Senate  room, 
came  in  again,  kept  in  a  perpetual  bustle  round  the  floor  and 
in  the  lobbies,  and,  just  before  the  vote  on  my  resolutions  was 
taken,  took  great  care  to  come  and  take  his  seat  again,  so  as  to 
be  there  for  the  vote.  When  his  name  was  called,  he  arose,  and, 
with  a  tone  of  great  delight  at  his  expedient,  desired  to  be 
excused  from  voting,  as  not  having  heard  the  discussion.  He 
was  accordingly  excused ;  but  yesterday  and  to-day  he  has 
voted  for  the  bill  against  which  my  resolutions  were  specially 
pointed.  His  conduct,  taken  together,  speaks  this  language: 
"  See  how  kindly  I  spare  the  feelings  of  my  colleague  !  Take 
notice !  his  resolutions  are  very  ridiculous  ;  but  please  to  ob- 
serve with  how  much  delicacy  I  forbear  to  vote  against  them." 
Thus  much  for  Mr.  Pickering.  This,  and  his  behavior  to  me 
on  every  former  occasion  when  his  feelings  could  operate,  has 
convinced  me  beyond  all  doubt  that  he  will  always  vote  against 
every  thing  proposed  by  me  when  he  dares.  In  the  debates 
on  the  amendment  of  the  Constitution,  his  votes  on  the  Jive  and 
three  questions  gave  the  most  decisive  demonstration  of  his 
views.  However,  as  the  loss  of  his  concurrence  takes  off  half 
the  force  of  the  few  federalists  left,  I  cannot  pursue  opposition 
to  any  effect  without  his  support.  I  therefore  barely  took  the 
yeas  and  nays  at  the  reading,  without  making  any  observations 
on  the  bill  itself.  The  Senate  then  immediately  adjourned.  I 
wrote  letters  to  my  brother  and  to  Mr.  W.  Smith,  enclosing  to 
the  latter  the  bill  now  pending  in  the  House  for  the  further 
protection  of  our  seamen,  with  a  request  of  his  opinion. 


1804.]  THE   SENATE    OF   THE    UNITED   STATES.  28o 

15th.  At  the  Treasury,  and  heard  Mr.  Lawrie.  I  called 
upon  Mr.  Pickering,  and  had  a  very  full  and  free  conversation 
with  him  on  the  subject  of  my  resolutions  and  the  Louisiana 
bills.  I  represented  to  him  the  importance  of  harmony  be- 
tween us,  and  told  him  that  as  I  found  the  measures  which  I 
intended  to  have  opposed  to  the  utmost  of  my  power  appeared 
to  have  his  approbation,  I  should  stop  short  in  the  career  of 
my  opposition,  to  avoid  every  appearance  of  controversy  with 
him.  For  that,  however  ready  and  willing  I  am  to  contend 
with  the  ruling  majority,  I  felt  the  importance  of  preserving 
unanimity  with  him,  both  as  it  respected  ourselves  and  our 
constituents.  I  also  asked  him  what  clause  or  section  of  the 
Constitution  it  was  under  which  he  conceived  Congress  have 
the  power  to  pass  these  laws.  He  answered  me,  that  he  was 
sensible  of  the  importance  of  our  agreeing  together  in  our 
measures,  and  regretted  when  he  thought  it  necessary  to  vote 
differently  from  me.  That  in  this  instance,  as  to  the  abstract 
principle  of  the  Law  of  Nations,  as  I  quoted  from  Vattel,  I  zvas 
certainly  right,  and  that  there  was  no  particular  clause  of  the 
Constitution  which  gave  Congress  the  power,  unless  possibly 
it  might  be  the  clause  enabling  them  to  provide  for  the  general 
zv  elf  are.  But,  as  a  point  of  expediency,  it  would  be  impru- 
dent to  give  the  people  of  Louisiana  an  option  to  submit  to 
our  government  or  not ;  and  as  to  the  natural  rights  of  men, 
they  always  were  disregarded  in  cessions  of  this  kind.  Such 
are  Mr.  Pickering's  reasons  for  disapproving  my  opposition  to 
these  two  laws.  He  abandons  altogether  the  ground  of  right 
upon  both  questions,  and  relies  upon  what  is  expedient,  in  oppo- 
sition to  the  right.  I  told  him  I  was  satisfied  as  to  the  object 
of  my  enquiries,  and  that  from  deference  to'  him,  and  to  avoid 
the  appearance  of  contending  with  him,  I  should  urge  my  op- 
position on  these  bills  no  further,  except  so  far  as  merely  to 
record  my  votes.  He  said  he  was  afraid  it  would  be  attributed 
to  an  obstinate  determination  to  oppose  every  thing  if  he  con- 
tinued to  oppose  the  measures  for  the  government  of  Louisiana, 
and  that,  however  desirous  he  was  to  be  in  harmony  with  me,  he 
could  not  sacrifice  his  opinions.  This  conversation  has  finished 
opening  to  me  Mr.  Pickering's  heart  and  his  understanding. 
vol.  1. — 19 


2qo  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [January, 

Another  remark  I  made  was  that  he  conversed  with  the  most 
perfect  freedom  on  the  subject  of  the  Treaty  of  Limits  with  Great 
Britain,  and  the  questions  now  in  discussion  upon  it,  in  the 
presence  of  Mr.  Dana,  although  there  is  an  express  injunction 
of  secrecy  upon  every  member  of  the  Senate  relative  to  it. 

1 6th.  Message  from  the  President,  with  the  account  of  the 
taking  possession  of  New  Orleans  on  the  20th  of  December. 
The  Louisiana  Government  bill  was  further  discussed ;  but  no 
decision  had.  Adjourned  at  about  two  o'clock.  After  the  ad- 
journment Mr.  Baldwin  came  to  me,  and  said,  "  Your  heart  is 
right  before  God.  Your  principles  and  the  application  of 
them  are  unquestionable ;  and  the  wear  and  tear  of  conscience 
I  have  undergone  first  and  last  on  these  questions  of  terri- 
torial governments  is  inexpressible."  Yet  Mr.  Baldwin  voted 
against  my  resolutions,  and  in  favor  of  the  Revenue  bill. 
He  will  also  vote  for  the  Government  bill.  In  the  evening  I 
finished  book  eighth  of  Raynal's  History,  which  concludes  the 
history  of  the  Spanish  possessions  on  the  Continent  of  South 
America.  Read  also  the  first  act  of  Hamlet  to  the  ladies. 
This  day  the  President  read  a  letter  from  Mr.  Bailey,  one  of 
the  Senators  from  the  State  of  New  York,  announcing  that  he 
had  resigned  his  seat  in  the  Senate.  He  is  to  be  appointed  Post- 
master at  New  York.  We  heard  of  this  some  time  before  the 
taking  of  the  vote  in  Senate  on  the  Constitutional  amendment. 

17th.  Some  business  of  inferior  consequence  was  done  in 
Senate,  and  the  Louisiana  Government  bill  again  taken  up. 
The  second  reading  was  finished,  but  no  ultimate  question 
taken  upon  the  bill.  The  bill  was  to  commence  from  the  end 
of  the  present  session  of  Congress  ;  but  at  last  General  Smith 
has  discovered  that  more  time  must  be  allowed,  and  moved  to 
have  the  commencement  postponed  for  six  months.  Mr.  Breck- 
inridge also  insinuated  that  several  new  sections  must  be  added. 

1 8th.  In  Senate.  The  Louisiana  Government  bill  again  under 
consideration.  The  rage  of  amendments  has  seized  the  friends 
to  the  bill,  and  a  dozen  of  them  have  been  offered  by  as  many 
members.  They  are  all  to  be  printed.  A  bill  entitled  "  For 
the  further  protection  of  American  seamen,"  but  intended  for 
the  protection  of  foreign  seamen  against  the  authority  of  their 


1804.]  THE  SENATE    OF   THE    UNITED   STATES.  2QI 

own  sovereigns,  was  debated  at  the  second  reading.  I  opposed 
it  as  infringing  the  laws  of  nations,  but  without  effect.  All  the 
majority,  together  with  Mr.  Dayton,  who  is  veering  round  to 
them,  and  Mr.  Pickering,  who  cannot  possibly  think  like  me, 
are  determined  in  support  of  the  bill.  The  question  was  not 
taken.  I  received  a  letter  from  W.  S.  Shaw,  who  informs  me 
that  Mr.  Stedman  was  the  writer  of  the  letter  to  B.  Russell, 
which  was  published  in  the  Centinel  of  I  ith  December.1  Sted- 
man lodges  in  the  same  house  with  Mr.  Pickering. 

19th.  Going  to  the  Capitol  this  morning,  Mrs.  Madison  over- 
took me  on  the  way,  and  offered  me  a  seat  in  her  carriage, 
which  I  accepted.  She  told  me  Mr.  Harvie  was  going  imme- 
diately to  France,  on  business  for  the  Treasury  Department. 
In  Senate,  the  bill  to  protect  foreign  seamen  was  again  taken 
up  and  debated,  but  no  question  taken.  In  the  evening  I  read 
three  acts  of  the  Merry  Wives  of  Windsor  to  the  ladies. 

20th.  In  Senate.  A  bill  for  the  relief  of  Paul  Coulon  passed 
by  the  casting  vote  of  the  Vice-President.  A  bill  to  declare  the 
law  respecting  duties  upon  saltpetre,  which  had  crept  on  un- 
noticed to  the  third  reading,  was  almost  unanimously  rejected. 
By  a  ludicrous  course  of  circumstances,  the  bill,  before  the 
question  "Shall  this  bill  pass?"  was  taken  upon  it,  had  been 
reduced  to  the  words,  "  Be  it  enacted."  And  the  question  of 
final  passage  was  taken  on  those  words  alone.  The  Vice-Presi- 
dent gave  notice  that  he  should  be  absent  until  the  beginning 
of  March.     Adjourned  to  Monday. 

24th.  Going  to  the  Senate,  I  found  the  snow  very  deep  to  the 
War  Office,2  but  the  roads  quite  unobstructed  beyond  that. 
Mr.  Holland  took  me  up  in  his  carriage.  I  found  Mr.  Brown 
had  yesterday  been  chosen  President  pro  tern.,  after  six  trials. 

1  Saturday,  10th  December.  The  letter  was  dated  the  28th  of  November,  little 
more  than  a  month  from  the  day  Mr.  Adams  took  his  seat  in  the  Senate.  The 
spirit  in  which  it  is  written  may  be  judged  by  the  quotation  with  which  it  con- 
cludes its  survey  of  his  progress  thus  far  : 

"  Quis  talia  fando 
Temperet  a  lacbrymis." 

2  The  severity  of  the  snow-storm  had  kept  Mr.  Adams  confined  to  his  lodgings, 
three  miles  from  the  Capitol,  the  two  preceding  days. 


2Q2  MEMOIRS   OF   JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [January, 

Mr.  Franklin  was  opposed  against  him.  The  amendments  to 
the  Louisiana  Government  bill  were  taken  up,  and  some  pro- 
gress made  in  them.  Mr.  Venable's  amendment,  to  give  them 
the-beginning  of  a  popular  representation,  failed  for  want  of  one 
vote.  Yeas  fourteen,  nays  fourteen.  On  the  section  prohibiting 
the  slave  trade,  no  question  was  taken.  A  letter  from  Governor 
Claiborne  to  the  Secretary  of  State  was  received  and  read.  It 
was  sent  with  a  private  letter  to  the  President  of  the  Senate, 
which,  however,  Mr.  Brown  read.  In  the  evening,  the  eleventh 
book  of  Raynal.  It  contains  an  account  of  the  slave  trade,  and 
closes  with  the  articles  cultivated  in  the  West  Indies  by  slaves 
— cotton,  coffee,  sugar,  and  arnotto. 

25th.  Met  the  committee  on  the  case  of  the  brig  Henrick 
(Mr.  Baldwin  and  General  Smith) ;  we  report  the  bill  without 
amendment.  As  to  the  principle,  we  could  not  agree.  In 
Senate  the  debate  continued  all  day  upon  the  question  of  the 
admission  of  slaves  into  Louisiana.  Mr.  Hillhouse  is  to  pre- 
pare a  section  to  the  same  effect,  but  differently  modified. 

26th.  The  section  for  prohibiting  the  admission  of  slaves  from 
abroad  into  Louisiana  was  again  debated  all  day.  It  was  at  last 
taken  by  yeas  and  nays — seventeen  and  six.  The  discussion  of 
this  question  has  developed  characters.  Jackson1  has  opposed 
the  section  totis  vitibus,  in  all  its  shapes,  and  was  very  angry 
when  the  question  was  taken — called  twice  for  an  adjournment, 
in  which  they  would  not  indulge  him,  and  complained  of  un- 
fairness. Dayton  has  opposed  the  section  throughout  with 
equal  vehemence,  but  happened  to  be  absent  when  the  ques- 
tion was  taken.  Smith,  of  Maryland,  who  has  been  all  along 
extremely  averse  to  the  section,  but  afraid  to  avow  it,  com- 
plained bitterly  that  the  yeas  and  nays  were  taken  in  quasi 

■  James  Jackson,  Senator  from  Georgia  in  1793-5,  and  again  from  1S01  to  1806, 
when  he  died.  In  a  characteristic  note  found  in  Benton's  Abridgment  of  the 
Debates  in  Congress,  he  is  lauded  as  having  been  "  a  ready  speaker,  and  as  ready 
with  his  pistol  as  his,  tongue ;  and  involved  in  many  duels  on  account  of  his  hot 
opposition  to  criminal  measures..  The  defeat  of  the  Yazoo  fraud  was  the  most 
signal  act  of  his  legislative  life, — dying  of  wounds  received  in  the  last  of  many 
duels  which  his  undaunted  attacks  upon  that  measure  brought  upon  him."  Such 
was  the  estimate  of  political  merit  made  by  one  himself  a  Senator  of  long  stand- 
ing, only  sixteen  years  ago. 


1S04.]  THE   SENATE    OF   THE    UNITED   STATES.  2Q% 

committee,  instead  of  waiting  to  take  them  on  the  ultimate 
question  in  the  Senate.  But,  finding  his  party  on  this  point  stiff 
to  him  as  if  he  was  in  the  minority,  he  left  his  seat,  to  avoid 
voting  at  all,  in  the  yeas  and  nays.  Bradley,  of  Vermont,  after 
trying  various  expedients  to  give  the  slip  to  the  real  question, 
finally  moved  an  amendment  to  prohibit  the  admission  of  slaves 
altogether,  as  well  from  the  United  States  as  from  abroad.  The 
object  was  to  defeat  the  thing  by  its  own  excess,  and  made  his 
abhorrence  of  all  slavery  the  ground  of  his  argument  to  oppose 
the  partial  prohibition.  He  therefore  took  the  yeas  and  nays 
upon  his  own  proposed  amendment  before  they  were  taken  on 
Mr.  Hillhouse's  section.  The  workings  of  this  question  upon 
the  minds  and  hearts  of  these  men  opened  them  to  observation 
as  much  as  if  they  had  had  the  window  in  the  breast.  I  called 
to  see  Mr.  Tracy,  who  is  unwell,  at  his  lodgings. 

27th.  The  Senate  met  only  to  adjourn  over  till  Monday — on 
account  of  the  Louisiana  feast.  About  seventy  members  of  the 
two  Houses  of  Congress  dined  together  at  Stella's.  The  Presi- 
dent and  the  Heads  of  Departments  were  there  by  invitation. 
Scarcely  any  of  the  federal  members  were  there.  The  dinner 
was  bad,  and  the  toasts  too  numerous.  I  left  about  thirty  of 
the  company  there  at  eight  in  the  evening. 

30th.  The  Louisiana  Government  bill  yet  engrosses  the  atten- 
tion of  the  Senate.  The  sections  to  secure  the  prohibition  of 
the  slave  trade  are  still  under  discussion,  and  Mr.  Breckinridge 
has  at  length  produced  one  which  I  suppose  is  to  be  the  last. 
'Tis  to  be  printed  for  to-morrow. 

31st.  The  question  upon  striking  out  Mr.  Hillhouse's  pro- 
posed additional  section  to  insert  that  of  Mr.  Breckinridge  was 
debated  warmly,  until  four  o'clock ;  and  passed  finally  against 
striking  out — fifteen  to  thirteen.  But  the  question  on  Mr.  Hill- 
house's proposition  itself  was  not  taken.  Mr.  Wright  returned, 
after  an  absence  of  a  month.  In  the  evening  we  all  attended 
at  the  ball  given  at  Georgetown  to  celebrate  the  acquisition  of 
Louisiana.  It  was  very  much  crowded  with  company,  but  the 
arrangements  and  decorations  were  mean  beyond  any  thing  of 
the  kind  I  ever  saw.     We  came  home  at  midnight. 

February  1st.    Mr.  Hillhouse's  section  respecting  the  admis- 


2g4  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [February, 

sion  of  slaves  into  Louisiana  was  adopted.1  I  called  on  Mr. 
J.  C.  Smith,  Chairman  of  the  Committee  of  Claims,  and  con- 
versed with  him  in  relation  to  that  of  Dr.  Morse,  and  concern- 
ing the  case  of  the  brig  Henrick.  On  the  Louisiana  Govern- 
ment bill,  Mr.  Anderson  moved  to  strike  out  the  eighth  section, 
which  directed  the  government  of  the  second  Territory.  De- 
bated until  four  o'clock,  and  the  question  not  taken. 

2d.  In  Senate.  The  debate  on  Mr.  Anderson's  motion  was 
continued  this  day  in  Senate  until  four  o'clock.  The  eighth 
section  struck  out ;  yeas  sixteen,  nays  nine. 

3d.  In  Senate.  The  debate  on  Mr.  Anderson's  motion  was 
renewed,  and  General  Jackson  proposed,  by  way  of  substitute, 
that  the  government  of  Upper  Louisiana  should  be  annexed  to 
the  Indiana  Territory.  The  question  was  not  finally  taken,  but 
will  doubtless  finally  prevail. 

7th.  Supreme  Court  sat,  Judge  Washington  having  arrived. 
I  was  admitted  and  sworn  as  attorney  and  counsellor  in  the 
Court.  They  did  little  business,  and  adjourned  early.  In 
Senate.  The  Louisiana  Government  bill  still  debating — sec- 
tion about  the  qualification  of  jurors.  Wrote  to  Mr.  Morton. 
Deeply  engaged  all  the  evening  in  examining  Miller,  Park,  and 
Powell.  Mr.  Nicholas  gave  notice  that,  in  order  to  make  the 
Senate  more  punctual,  he  should  to-morrow  at  eleven  o'clock 
move  for  a  call  of  the  House. 

8th.  Attended  at  the  Supreme  Court,  and  in  the  Senate. 
Examining  authorities  with  perhaps  too  much  assiduity.  Part 
of  the  family  dined  at  Mr.  Pichon's,  but  I  was  so  deeply  en- 
gaged in  my  enquiries  that  I  could  not  go.  Mrs.  Adams  went 
in  the  evening. 

9th.  Supreme  Court  and  Senate.  In  the  latter,  the  Conven- 
tion of  Boundaries  with  Great  Britain,  signed  12th  May  last, 
was  ratified,  with  the  exception  of  the  fifth  article.  I  moved 
to  take  off  the  injunction  of  secrecy.  Motion  to  lie  for  con- 
sideration. 

13th.  Debate  on  the  Louisiana  Government  bill.     It  passed 

1  All  these  amendments  had  relation  to  the  regulation  of  the  mode  of  introducing 
slaves  into  the  Territory,  prohibiting  their  importation  from  Africa,  and  prescribing 
the  mode  of  their  introduction  from  the  States  of  the  Union. 


1804.]  THE   SENATE    OF   THE    UNITED   STATES.  ,n, 

to  the  third  reading  by  a  small  majority.  This  attendance  on 
the  Senate  and  the  Supreme  Court  at  once  almost  overpowers 
me.     I  cannot  stand  it  long. 

15th.  Louisiana  Government  bill  at  the  third  reading.  I 
was  only  part  of  the  morning  in  the  Senate.  The  remainder 
of  it  attending  upon  the  Supreme  Court.  Read  the  papers  in 
the  case  of  Head  and  Amory.  The  Court  are  to  hear  the 
argument  to-morrow. 

1 6th.  Attended  at  the  Supreme  Court,  and  argued  the  cause 
of  Head  and  Amory  vs.  The  Providence  Insurance  Company. 
I  was  about  two  hours.  Mr.  Hunter  and  Mr.  Martin  then 
argued  the  case  for  the  defendants  in  Error.  The  Court  seems 
to  incline  towards  them.  Mr.  Mason1  is  to  close  to-morrow  for 
us.     In  Senate  they  were  engaged  again  in  the  Louisiana  bill. 

17th.  Attended  a  short  time  in  Senate,  and  the  remainder  of 
the  morning  at  the  Supreme  Court.  Mr.  Mason  closed  for  us 
in  the  cause  of  Head  and  Amory  vs.  The  Providence  Insurance 
Company,  and  made  an  excellent  argument.  The  cause,  how- 
ever, will  turn  against  us.  The  next  case  that  came  on  is  that 
of  Graves  vs.  The  Boston  Marine  Insurance  Company,  which 
Mr.  Stockton  opened  by  a  very  able  argument.  On  the  whole,  I 
have  never  witnessed  a  collection  of  such  powerful  legal  orators 
as  at  this  session  of  the  Supreme  Court.  The  Louisiana  Gov- 
ernment bill  proceeded  to  the  question  at  its  third  reading;  but 
the  question  was  not  taken. 

1 8th.  Attended  a  short  time  at  the  Supreme  Court;  but  I 
was  called  away  to  the  question  upon  the  Louisiana  Govern- 
ment bill.  I  spoke  against  it,  alone,  and  was  very  shortly 
answered  by  Mr.  Wright,  alone.  On  the  question,  the  yeas  were 
twenty,  the  nays  five.  Messrs.  Dayton,  Pickering,  Tracy,  Wells, 
and  White  absent.  Mr.  Stone  alone  of  the  major  party  voted 
against  the  bill ;  and  thus  terminates  the  introductory  system 
for  the  government  of  Louisiana.  I  have  thought  it  placed 
upon  wrong  foundations.     It  is  for  time  to  show  the  result. 

20th.  Dr.  Logan  gave  notice  on  Saturday  that  he  should 
this  day  move  for  leave  to  bring  in  a  bill  for  laying  a  duty  on 

1  John  Thompson  Mason,  at  this  time  a  lawyer  of  distinction,  had  been  retained 
as  senior  counsel  in  the  case,  by  the  advice  of  Mr.  Adams. 


2q6  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QU1NCY  ADAMS.  [February, 

the  importation  of  negro  slaves  into  the  United  States.  This 
morning  Mr.  Tracy  moved  to  expunge  from  the  Journals  the 
record  of  this  notice — it  being  a  bill  to  raise  revenue,  which 
therefore  cannot,  by  the  Constitution,  originate  in  the  Senate. 
It  was  amusing  to  observe  the  perplexity  which  this  occasioned. 
Some  were  for  expunging,  upon  the  principle,  that  notice  of  an 
intention  to  bring  in  a  bill  ought  not  in  any  case  to  be  inserted 
in  the  Journals.  Others  bravely  stood  to  it  that  it  would  not 
be  a  bill  to  raise  revenue,  among  whom  was  Dr.  Logan  him- 
self, who  said  he  would  show  it  when  the  bill  came  to  be 
debated.  This  I  suppose  will  be  ad  Kalendas  Graecas.  On  the 
question  for  expunging,  the  Doctor  called  for  the  yeas  and 
nays.  It  passed  in  the  negative — yeas  five,  nays  twenty-one. 
But  the  Doctor  did  not  ask  leave  according  to  his  motion,  and 
I  think  will  find  it  most  expedient  to  let  it  sleep.  I  was  in  Court 
great  part  of  the  morning. 

2 1 st.  Attended  in  Senate.  Several  bills  passed,  almost  with- 
out debate.  An  Act  for  the  relief  of  Samuel  Corp  was  debated, 
but  no  question  taken.  The  Supreme  Court  did  not  sit  this 
day,  Judge  Chase  being  ill.  Dined  at  Mr.  Duvall's.  Judge 
Cushing  and  his  lady,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Huger,  and  several  other 
persons,  were  there.     In  the  evening  there  was  other  company. 

22d.  Attended  a  few  minutes  at  the  Senate,  and  all  the  rest 
of  the  morning  at  the  Supreme  Court.  The  Chief  Justice  read 
the  opinion  of  the  Court  in  the  case  of  Pennington  and  Cox, 
the  famous  case  of  the  sugar  refiners  ;  and  also  in  the  case  of 
the  Charming  Betsey.  In  the  former  they  reversed  the  decree 
of  the  Circuit  Court.  Mr.  Mason  opened  a  case  of  Insurance. 
The  question  is  upon  the  degree  of  credit  given  to  the  sentence 
of  a  foreign  Court  of  Admiralty.  Mr.  Stockton  also  read  the 
papers  in  the  case  of  Church  and  Hubbart,  and  will  open  the 
cause  to-morrow.  Dined  at  Stella's,  in  company  with  about 
seventy  gentlemen,  in  celebration  of  Washington's  birthday. 
The  company  consisted  of  members  of  Congress,  the  Judges  of 
the  Supreme  Court,  and  gentlemen  belonging  to  the  city  and 
neighborhood.  I  came  home  early.  The  ladies  went  to  a  ball 
at  Georgetown,  for  the  same  occasion.  I  passed  the  evening 
at  home,  reading  the  papers  in  the  case  of  Church  and  Hubbart. 


i8o4.]  THE   SENATE    OF   THE    UNITED   STATES.  2Q7 

23d.  Winter  returned  severely.  Snow  all  the  morning,  and 
very  cold.  Mr.  Stockton  opened  the  case  of  Church  vs.  Hubbart 
at  the  Supreme  Court.  He  goes  away  to-morrow,  and  therefore 
the  cause  is  to  be  finished  at  some  future  day.  Mr.  Hunter 
opened  the  defence  upon  the  case  of  Fitzsimmons  vs.  Newport 
Insurance  Company.  He  was  two  hours  on  the  point  of  credit 
due  to  a  foreign  Admiralty  sentence;  after  which  the  Court 
adjourned.  He  is  to  continue  to-morrow.  I  scarcely  attended 
in  Senate ;  but  nothing  of  material  importance  was  done. 
Evening,  till  midnight,  examining  the  papers  in  the  case  of 
Church  and  Hubbart. 

24th.  Attended  in  Court.  The  cause  of  Fitzsimmons  and 
the  Newport  Insurance  Company  was  this  day  finished  on  the 
argument.  In  Senate,  little  business  done ;  and  that  of  execu- 
tive nature.  This  evening  the  family  spent  at  Mr.  J.  T.  Mason's 
— a  ball.  I  did  not  go,  being  engaged  in  business  until  past 
midnight.     Weather  very  cold. 

25th.  The  Court  delivered  this  morning  an  opinion  in  the 
case  of  Head  and  Amory  vs.  the  Providence  Insurance  Com- 
pany. Judgment  of  the  Circuit  Court  reversed,  unanimously. 
The  Senate,  having  little  business  to  do,  adjourned  early. 

March  2d.  This  was  the  return  day  on  the  summons  to  John 
Pickering,  Judge  of  the  District  of  New  Hampshire,  to  answer 
to  the  articles  of  impeachment  against  him.  The  Senate  met 
at  ten  o'clock.  I  called  up  my  motion,  made  on  the  4th  of 
January,  to  declare  that  "  any  member  of  the  Senate  having 
previously  acted  and  voted  on  a  question  of  impeachment  as  a 
member  of  the  House  of  Representatives,  is  thereby  disqualified 
to  sit  and  act,  in  the  same  case,  as  a  member  of  the  Senate  sitting 
as  a  Court  of  Impeachments."  The  resolution  was  negatived — 
yeas  eight,  nays  twenty.  When  I  made  the  motion  there  were 
three  members  in  this  predicament — Samuel  Smith,  of  Mary- 
land, John  Condit,  of  New  Jersey,  and  Theodorus  Bailey,  of 
New  York.  Since  that  time  Mr.  Bailey  has  resigned  his  seat; 
and  John  Armstrong,  who  had  been  appointed  by  the  Executive 
of  New  York,  during  the  recess  of  the  Legislature,  to  supply 
the  place  of  De  Witt  Clinton,  has  been  appointed  by  the 
Legislature  instead  of  Mr.  Bailey.     The  same  Legislature  also 


2q8  MEMOIRS    OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [March, 

appointed  John  Smith  to  take  the  place  of  Mr.  Clinton,  and  he 
has  taken  his  seat.  John  Smith,  of  New  York,  was  also  a 
member  of  the  House  of  Representatives  when  Mr.  Pickering 
was  impeached,  and  voted  for  the  impeachment.  So  that  there 
are  still  three  members  of  the  Senate  in  that  situation.  When 
the  question  on  my  proposed  resolution  was  put,  Mr.  Condit 
and  Mr.  John  Smith,  of  New  York,  desired  to  be  excused  from 
voting,  and  were  accordingly  excused.  Mr.  Samuel  Smith, 
however,  declared  that  he  had  no  idea  of  resigning  his  right  to 
vote,  and  therefore  said  No.  Some  rules  of  proceedings  were 
adopted.  The  Court  of  Impeachments  was  opened,  and  the 
House  of  Representatives  informed  that  the  Court  was  ready 
to  proceed  to  the  trial ;  Mr.  Mathers,  the  Sergeant-at-Arms, 
having  previously  sworn  to  his  return  that  he  had  served  the 
summons  upon  Judge  Pickering.  The  managers  for  the  House 
of  Representatives  appeared,  and  took  the  seats  assigned  them. 
John  Pickering  was  called  three  times,  and  did  not  appear.  The 
President  then  stated  that  he  had  received  a  letter  from  Robert 
Goodloe  Harper,  enclosing  a  petition  from  Jacob  S.  Pickering, 
son  of  Judge  Pickering;  the  letter  and  petition  were  read.  Mr. 
Harper  appeared,  and  stated  that  he  had  no  authority  to  appear, 
and  did  not  appear,  for  John  Pickering ;  but  he  submitted  to 
the  Court  whether  he  should  be  permitted  to  advocate  the 
petition  of  Jacob  S.  Pickering.  This  petition  alleged  that  John 
Pickering,  the  Judge,  was  insane  at  the  time  when  the  acts 
charged  against  him  were  stated  to  have  been  committed,  and 
had  been  ever  since,  and  still  remained,  in  the  same  state;  that 
he  had  several  depositions  to  prove  the  fact ;  that  the  age  and 
infirmities  of  his  father  made  it  impossible  for  him  to  be 
brought  here  at  this  inclement  season;  that  the  judgment 
which  he  was  accused  of  was  not  contrary  to  law,  though  not 
the  result  of  reason  ;  and  prayed  for  a  postponement  of  the 
trial,  that  the  Judge  might  be  brought  in  person  before  the 
Court.  The  managers  from  the  House  of  Representatives  ob- 
jected against  Mr.  Harper's  being  admitted  to  support  the  peti- 
tion, he  having  expressly  declared  that  he  had  no  authority  to 
appear  in  behalf  of  John  Pickering,  the  person  impeached.  On 
this  question  the  members  of  the  Court  retired  to  their  com- 


iSo4.]  THE  SENATE    OF  THE    UNITED   STATES. 


299 


mittee  room,  and  after  some  consultation,  being  desirous  to 
deliberate  further,  returned  to  the  Senate  room,  and  informed 
the  parties  that  when  they  shall  have  come  to  a  decision  they 
will  give  information  of  it  to  the  House.  The  Court  and  Senate 
were  then  adjourned. 

3d.  Senate  sat  until  four  o'clock — almost  the  whole  day 
deliberating  with  closed  doors  on  the  question  whether  evi- 
dence and  counsel  in  support  of  the  petition  of  Jacob  S.  Picker- 
ing should  be  heard.  There  was  no  agreement  upon  the 
question,  which  was  adjourned  till  Monday,  eleven  o'clock. 
The  dispositions  and  the  principles  advanced  on  this  occasion 
are  painful  to  reflect  upon.  The  most  persevering  and  de- 
termined opposition  is  made  against  hearing  evidence  and 
counsel  to  prove  the  man  insane — only  from  the  fear,  that  if 
the  insanity  should  be  proved,  he  cannot  be  convicted  of  high 
crimes  and  misdemeanors  by  acts  of  decisive  madness.  Motions 
were  made  to  assign  him  counsel,  who,  upon  the  plea  of  not 
guilty,  should  give  in  evidence  insanity  by  way  of  mitigation; 
as  if  a  madman  could  either  plead  guilty  or  not  guilty.  Mr. 
Jackson  was  for  hearing  none  of  these  pretences  of  insanity ; 
because  they  might  prevent  us  from  getting  rid  of  the  man. 
He  said  the  House  of  Representatives  were  at  this  moment 
debating  whether  they  would  not  impeach  another  Judge,  and 
by-and-by  we  should  have  Judge  Chase's  friends  come  and  pre- 
tend he  was  mad.  He  said  Judge  Pickering's  friends  ought  to 
have  made  him  resign.  It  was  reported  he  had  said  he  would 
resign  if  they  would  make  him  Chief  Justice  of  New  Hamp- 
shire. And  it  would  have  been  a  pious  act  in  his  son  to  have 
drawn  up  a  paper  saying,  In  consideration  that  I  have  been 
appointed  Chief  Justice  of  New  Hampshire,  I  hereby  resign  my 
office  as  District  Judge.  "  I  repeat,"  said  General  Jackson, 
"that  this  would  have  been  a  pious  act  in  the  son."  (The  General 
is  not  a  very  learned  judge  in  the  doctrines  of  piety.)  Mr. 
Breckinridge  was  for  proceeding  to  trial — hearing  all  the 
proofs  which  the  managers  of  the  House  shall  bring  forward 
to  prove  acts  of  extravagance  and  folly,  and  afterwards  hear 
evidence  of  insanity,  in  mitigation.  This  opinion  will  probably 
prevail.     Mr.  Worthington  was  for  hearing  the  evidence  of  in- 


30O  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN   QUINCY  ADAMS.  [March, 

sanity,  but  not  counsel.  The  dilemma  is,  between  the  deter- 
mination to  remove  the  man  on  impeachment /w  high  crimes 
and  misdemeanors,  though  he  be  insane,  and  the  fear  that  the 
evidence  of  this  insanity,  and  the  argument  of  counsel  on  its 
legal  operation,  will  affect  the  popularity  of  the  measure. 

5th.  In  Senate.  The  Court  of  Impeachments  sat.  Debating 
again  the  whole  day,  whether  evidence  and  counsel  in  support 
of  the  allegation  of  the  insanity  of  John  Pickering  should  be 
heard.  Question  finally  taken — eighteen  yeas,  twelve  nays. 
Soon  after  adjourned.  Went  in  company  with  my  colleague,  Mr. 
Pickering,  to  dine  with  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Washington,  at  Rock  Hill. 
The  House  of  Representatives  this  day  decided  the  contested 
election  of  Jos.  Lewis  against  him.  Dr.  Thornton  was  of  the 
company  at  Mr.  Washington's,  and  gave  us  his  plan  for  a  new 
confederate  system  of  government  for  the  United  States. 

6th.  In  Senate.  The  managers  of  the  House  of  Representa- 
tives appeared.  The  decision  of  the  Senate  to  hear  counsel 
and  evidence  on  the  petition  of  Jacob  S.  Pickering  was  made 
known  to  them.  Mr.  Nicholson  enquired  whether  this  was 
considered  as  a  preliminary  measure,  or  to  take  place  in  the 
course  of  the  trial.  The  Vice-President  said  it  would  be  a 
preliminary  step.  Upon  which  Mr.  Nicholson  said  that  he  was 
directed  by  the  managers  to  say  they  were  prepared  to  support 
their  charges  against  John  Pickering,  but  that  they  would  not 
contend  with  a  third  person,  not  authorized  by  him,  and  should 
retire  to  take  the  directions  of  the  House  of  Representatives; 
which  they  all  immediately  did.  The  petition  and  depositions 
to  support  it  were  then  read  by  Mr.  Harper,  who  made  few 
observations  upon  them.   The  Senate  soon  afterwards  adjourned. 

7th.  In  Senate.  On  the  opening  of  the  Court,  Mr.  Anderson 
moved  that  the  House  of  Representatives  be  informed  the  Court 
were  ready  to  proceed  on  the  impeachment  of  John  Pickering. 
The  question  was  taken  without  debate — eighteen  yeas,  nine 
nays.  This  had  evidently  been  settled  by  the  members  of  the 
ruling  part)'  out  of  Court.  And  this  is  the  way  in  which  these 
men  administer  justice.  At  the  request  of  Mr.  Nicholson  to  the 
Vice-President,  the  Court  was  adjourned  until  twelve  o'clock 
to-morrow.      Little  legislative  or  executive  business  was  done, 


1S04.J  THE   SENATE    OF   THE    UNITED   STATES. 


30I 


and  the  Senate  adjourned  early.  I  was  a  short  time  in  the 
House  of  Representatives,  where  they  were  debating  on  the 
Georgia  Land  business. 

9th.  In  the  Court  of  Impeachments.  Some  further  witnesses 
were  heard.  Some  of  yesterday's  witnesses  re-examined,  and 
the  two  Senators  from  New  Hampshire  sworn  in  their  places. 
The  managers  from  the  House  of  Representatives,  who  refused 
to  be  present  at  the  examination  of  the  testimony  to  the  insan- 
ity of  Judge  Pickering,  now  examined  their  witnesses  almost 
exclusively  to  that  point;  there  being  no  person  present  in 
behalf  of  the  accused  to  cross-examine  them.  The  testimony 
was  as  full,  clear,  and  explicit  as  possible  that  the  Judge's 
habits  of  intoxication  had  proceeded  altogether  from  his  insan- 
ity. After  the  examination  was  closed,  the  managers  from  the 
House  retired  for  a  few  minutes;  then  returned  and  said,  they 
lamented  to  have  to  present  such  a  character  to  the  judgment  of 
the  Senate,  but  that  the  proof  was  so  strong  and  full  against 
him  that  they  should  make  no  observations  upon  it;  and  they 
withdrew.  Mr.  Tracy  then  made  a  motion  to  postpone  further 
proceedings  on  the  impeachment  until  the  next  session,  which 
was  rejected.  Mr.  Nicholas  moved  that  the  House  of  Repre- 
sentatives be  informed  that  on  Monday  next,  at  twelve  o'clock, 
the  Senate  would  proceed  to  give  judgment  on  this  impeach- 
ment.    This  motion  lies  for  consideration. 

It  is  to  be  remarked  that  since  the  day  when  the  managers 
from  the  House  withdrew,  because  the  Senate  had  determined 
to  hear  evidence  that  the  accused  person  is  insane,  a  total  revo- 
lution has  taken  place  in  the  conduct  of  all  the  Senators  of  the 
present  ruling  party  in  politics,  excepting  Mr.  Bradley,  who 
still  loudly  disapproves  the  mode  of  proceeding  in  private,  but 
is  reduced  to  silence  in  public.  In  the  House  of  Representa- 
tives speeches  are  making  every  day  to  dictate  to  the  Senate 
how  they  must  proceed ;  and  the  next  morning  they  proceed 
accordingly.  This  day,  after  the  Senate  adjourned,  I  saw  a 
cluster  of  Senators  and  managers  of  the  House  of  Representa- 
tives collected  together  around  the  fireplace ;  the  managers 
consulting  the  Senators  about  their  opinions  on  the  evidence, 
and   Mr.   Randolph    contemptuously  sneering  at  the  idea  of 


o02  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [March, 

insanity  being    alleged,  to   arrest    the   judgment    against    the 
man. 

ioth.  Mr.  White,  in  Senate,  moved  this  morning  a  resolution 
declaring  the  Court  not  prepared  to  give  judgment  in  the  im- 
peachment of  Judge  Pickering,  stating  the  evidence  of  his 
insanity  and  bodily  infirmity,  which  made  it  impossible  for 
him  to  attend  and  make  his  defence.  On  this  resolution  it 
was  not  without  the  utmost  difficulty  that  any  discussion  what- 
soever could  be  obtained.  Mr.  Nicholas,  to  give  it  the  slip, 
insisted  upon  having  his  resolution,  offered  y  ester  day,  Jirst  taken 
up.  On  which  I  rose  and  said,  that  if  Mr.  White's  motion  was 
not  considered,  I  should  offer  a  resolution  previous  in  its  nature 
to  that  of  Mr.  Nicholas.  I  was  called  to  order  as  entering  into 
debate.  I  answered  that  I  was  not  debating,  but  merely  stating 
the  purport  of  a  resolution  I  should  offer  if  that  of  Mr.  White 
was  not  considered,  and  that  in  thus  stating  it  I  should  speak 
until  my  mouth  was  stopped  by  force.  I  was  again  called  to 
order,  but  the  President  determined  that  Mr.  White's  resolu- 
tion should  be  taken  up  before  that  of  Mr.  Nicholas. 

The  next  struggle  was  to  prevent  all  debate  upon  the  reso- 
lution. By  our  rules  there  can  be  no  debate  on  any  motion  in 
open  Court.  A  motion  to  close  the  doors  for  the  purpose  of 
discussing  the  resolution  was  rejected,  nine  members  voting 
for  it ;  the  rule  requires  one-third,  which,  of  twenty-nine  present, 
is  ten.  But  although  we  are  allowed  no  debate,  yet  motions  to 
strike  out  parts  of  a  resolution  proposed  were  admitted  by  the 
majority ;  and  Mr.  Anderson  moved  to  strike  out  a  great  part 
of  Mr.  White's  resolution,  so  as  to  get  rid  of  all  the  reasons 
alleged  in  it.  I  objected  against  any  motion  to  strike  out  part 
of  an  offered  resolution,  because  such  motion  was  itself  debate, 
and  contrary  to  the  rule.  At  length  Mr.  John  Smith,  of  Ohio, 
wanted  to  put  a  question  as  to  the  meaning  of  a  part  of  Mr. 
White's  resolution.  And  in  order  to  make  that  enquiry,  a 
second  motion  was  made  to  clear  the  galleries.  Smith,  now 
voting  for  it,  gave  the  casting  turn,  the  necessary  number  of 
one-third.*  The  galleries  were  cleared,  and  a  short  discussion 
of  the  resolution  was  had.  The  extreme  injustice  of  judging 
an  insane  man  as  a  guilty  one;  of  sentencing,  unheard,  a  man 


I804-]  THE  SENATE    OF  THE    UNITED   STATES. 


303 


who  could  not  be  present  at  this  time  without  imminent  hazard 
of  his  life;  of  precipitating  decision  without  necessity,  was 
urged;  Mr.  Anderson,  and  most  of  the  members  in  the  major- 
ity, all  the  time  manifesting  the  most  extreme  impatience  to 
open  the  doors  and  stop  all  further  debate.  At  length,  rather 
than  continue  the  discussion,  he  waived  his  motion  to  strike 
out  part  of  Mr.  White's  resolution,  and  said  he  was  ready  to 
meet  it.  But  Mr.  Nicholas  said  he  should  move  that  it  miglit 
not  be  entered  on  the  records.  Although  the  rule  is  that  all 
motions  shall  be  decided  by  yeas  and  nays  in  open  Court,  Mr. 
Nicholas  was  for  having  the  yeas  and  nays,  without  the  motion 
upon  which  they  were  taken.  The  doors  were  opened.  The 
yeas  and  nays  were  taken  on  Mr.  White's  resolution — yeas  nine, 
nays  nineteen.  Mr.  Bradley  did  not  make  his  appearance.  Yeas 
and  nays  on  Mr.  Nicholas's  motion  to  pronounce  judgment  on 
Monday  next  at  twelve  o'clock — yeas  nineteen,  nays  nine.  Court 
adjourned  to  Monday  morning,  ten  o'clock.  I  should  have 
observed  that  yesterday  the  Vice-President  took  leave  of  us  for 
the  remainder  of  the  session.  And  this  morning  Mr.  Franklin 
was  chosen  President  pro  tern.;  nominated  by  Mr.  Jackson. 
As  soon  as  he  took  the  chair,  Mr.  Nicholas  nodded  and  smiled 
protection  to  him,  most  familiarly.  This  afternoon  I  received 
a  letter  from  Mr.  Pickering  which  occasioned  some  additional 
perplexity  to  my  mind,  and  I  passed  the  principal  part  of  the 
evening  in  reflecting  upon  the  course  proper  to  pursue. 

nth.  I  was  unwell;  confined  the  whole  day  to  the  house 
with  a  severe  cold.  Employed  it  almost  entirely  in  writing. 
Wrote  two  letters  to  Colonel  Pickering — the  last  with  a  plan  of  a 
declaration  to  be  subscribed  by  those  of  the  Senators  who  dis- 
approve of  the  proceedings  on  the  impeachment,  conformably 
to  his  request. 

1 2th.  Mr.  Pickering  returned  me,  as  I  had  desired,  my  last 
yesterday's  letter,  with  the  enclosed  plan  of  a  declaration,  ob- 
serving that  on  further  consultation  it  was  thought  best  to 
avoid  such  a  step,  and  rest  our  opposition  upon  the  regular 
discharge  of  our  duty.     I  was  of  the  same  opinion. 

As  the  whole  of  the  proceedings  connected  with  the  first 


^04  MEMOIRS    OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [March, 

example  of  impeachment  carried  through  under  the  provisions 
of  the  federal  Constitution  will  be  always  interesting  whilst 
the  present  government  endures,  the  papers  here  referred  to 
are  now  supplied,  as  intimately  connected  with  the  transaction. 
At  this  time  it  is  believed  that  but  one  opinion  can  be  enter- 
tained of  it,  whatever  might  have  been  the  expediency  of  ob- 
taining the  object  desired. 

T.  Pickering  to  J.  Q.  Adams. 

City  of  Washington,  March  10,  1804. 

Dear  Sir  : — 

We  have  seen  to-day  the  fate  which  awaits  the  District 
Judge  of  New  Hampshire.  Unheard,  he  is  to  be  condemned. 
I  have  suggested  to  the  Senators  from  Connecticut  and  New 
Hampshire  that  we  ought  to  prepare  a  clear  state  of  the  case, 
drawn  up  as  concisely  as  will  consist  with  a  correct  under- 
standing of  it  by  the  public,  to  be  subscribed  by  all  the 
Senators  who  desire  to  bear  testimony  against  this  mockery  of 
a  trial,  where  not  justice  but  the  demon  of  party  determined 
the  proceedings.  This  statement  we  think  should  be  offered 
next  Monday,  the  moment  the  yeas  and  nays  on  the  question 
of  guilty  or  not  guilty  are  taken;  and  we  all  wish  you  to  pre- 
pare it.  I  despatch  a  messenger  with  this  communication,  that 
if  your  ideas  correspond  with  ours,  you  may  have  more  time 
to  make  the  statement. 

The  whole  proceedings  will  probably  be  published  ;  but  they 
will  be  too  voluminous  to  be  generally  read.  The  strong  and 
concise  statement  proposed,  will  justify  our  votes  and  display 
the  injustice  of  the  majority  to  upright  and  discerning  men 
everywhere,  and  to  our  peculiar  countrymen  in  particular. 

Respectfully  yours, 

T.  Pickering. 

J.  Q.  Adams  to  T.  Pickering. 

Washington,  ii  March,  1804. 
Dear  Sir: — 

On  further  reflection  since  the  morning,  I  have  thought  of  a 

mode,  which  appears  to  me  not  out  of  order,  and  in  which  we 


i8o4-]  THE  SENATE    OF  THE    UNITED   STATES.  305 

can  express  our  sentiments  relative  to  the  proceedings  of  the 
Court.  It  is  to  decline  answering  the  final  question,  and  assign 
the  reasons,  as  you  will  see  in  the  rough  sketch  which  I  enclose. 
If  this  should  meet  your  approbation  and  that  of  the  other 
gentlemen  with  whom  you  may  consult,  I  will,  when  called 
upon  for  my  vote,  declare  that  I  cannot  answer,  and  offer  this 
paper  in  behalf  of  myself  and  of  the  other  gentlemen  who 
please  to  subscribe  it.  If  the  paper  is  not  suffered  to  be  read, 
and  we  are  either  required  to  answer  or  excused,  we  can  pub- 
lish the  paper,  with  the  statement  that  it  was  not  suffered  to  be 
read.  If  you  would  wish  any  alterations  or  additions,  please 
to  make  them,  and  send  me  back  the  paper  to  copy  from, 
to-night  or  to-morrow  morning.  If  you  disapprove  the  plan, 
please  to  keep  the  paper,  and  return  it  to  me  when  we  meet 
to-morrow. 

Yours  faithfully, 

J.  Q.  Adams. 

Paper  enclosed  in  the  Letter. 

We,  the  subscribers,  members  of  the  Senate  of  the  United 
States,  sitting  as  a  Court  of  Impeachments  upon  the  impeach- 
ment of  John  Pickering,  Judge  of  the  District  Court  for  the 
District  of  New  Hampshire,  request  to  be  excused  from  an- 
swering the  question  of  guilty  or  not  guilty  upon  the  four 
several  articles  of  impeachment  preferred  against  the  said  John 
Pickering  by  the  House  of  Representatives  of  the  United 
States. 

And  we  offer  the  following  as  our  reasons  for  declining  to 
answer  that  question  at  this  time,  which  reasons  we  also  request 
may  be  entered  upon  the  records  of  the  Court. 

First. — Because  from  the  allegations  contained  in  the  peti- 
tion of  Jacob  S.  Pickering,  son  of  the  said  John  Pickering,  and 
supported  by  the  depositions  of  Samuel  Tenney,  a  member  of 
the  House  of  Representatives  of  the  United  States,  of  Ammi 
Cutter,  of  Joshua  Brackett,  of  Edward  St.  Loe  Livermore,  and 
of  George  Sullivan,  and  further  confirmed  by  circumstances 
within  the  personal  knowledge  of  Simeon  Olcott  and  William 
Plumer,  two  of  us,  who  deposed  to  the  same  in  this  Court,  we 

VOL.  I. — 20 


^06  MEMOIRS    OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [March, 

think  there  is  the  highest  probability  that  the  said  John  Pick- 
ering was,  at  the  time  when  the  offences  alleged  in  the  said 
articles  of  impeachment  are  stated  to  have  been  committed, 
and  for  some  time  before,  and  ever  since,  has  been,  and  still  is, 
insane,  his  mind  wholly  deranged,  deprived  of  the  exercise  of 
judgment  and  the  faculties  of  reason;  and  as  such  incapable 
of  committing  a  crime,  and  not  amenable  for  his  actions  to  any 
judicial  tribunal. 

Secondly. — Because  from  the  allegations  contained  in  the 
said  Jacob  S.  Pickering's  petition  supported  by  the  same  depo- 
sitions above  referred  to,  it  appears  that  from  the  bodily  infirmi- 
ties of  the  said  John  Pickering,  it  was  not  possible  for  him  to 
have  been  present  at  the  day  fixed  by  the  Court  for  his  trial, 
without  imminent  danger  of  his  life. 

Thirdly. — Because,  conceiving  an  impeachjnent  for  high 
crimes  and  misdemeanors  to  be  a  criminal  prosecution,  we  think 
that  upon  a  suggestion  of  present  insanity  of  the  person  ac- 
cused, supported  by  credible  testimony,  the  Court  are  bound 
by  law,  at  every  stage  of  the  same,  to  stay  all  further  proceed- 
ings until  the  truth  respecting  the  alleged  fact  of  present  in- 
sanity can  be  ascertained. 

Fourthly. — Because  all  the  evidence  produced  in  support  of 
the  said  articles  of  impeachment  was  taken  and  received 
ex  parte,  when  neither  the  said  John  Pickering  nor  any  person 
in  his  behalf  could  cross-examine  them,  or  have  an  opportunity 
to  controvert  its  competency  or  its  creditability. 

Fifthly. — Because  improper  evidence  was  received  against 
the  said  John  Pickering,  when  neither  he  nor  any  person  in  his 
behalf,  nor  any  member  of  the  Court,  could  assign  reasons  for 
objections  against  its  admission.  And  we  refer  particularly  to 
the  testimony  of  Michael  McClary,  of  Richards  Cutts  Shan- 
non, and  of  Edward  Hart,  who  were  permitted  and  required  to 
give  their  opinions  and  common  report  as  to  the  cause  of  the 
said  John  Pickering's  insanity  and  disorders,  while  at  the  same 
time  the  opinion  of  his  family  physician  and  testimony  of  that 
opinion,  on  the  same  subject,  were  excluded. 

Sixthly. — Because  from  all  these  circumstances  we  are  of 
opinion  that  the  said  John  Pickering  has  not  had  the  benefit  of 


.]  THE  SENATE    OF   THE    UNITED   STATES. 


307 


an  impartial  trial ;  that  he  has  not  had  an  opportunity  or  the 
possibility  of  being  heard  or  defended  either  by  himself  or  his 
counsel. 

And  seventhly. — Because,  although  believing,  in  the  present 
state  of  the  testimony  received,  that  the  said  John  Pickering  is 
?iot  guilty  of  any  of  the  charges  alleged  against  him  in  the  said 
four  articles  of  impeachment,  we  have  not  had  either  the  time 
or  the  means  which  we  conceive  necessary  and  proper  for  ascer- 
taining the  facts  so  as  to  enable  us  to  pronounce  his  acquittal. 

After  the  Court  met,  they  were  to  determine  the  form  of  the 
question  whether  John  Pickering  was  guilty  or  not,  and  also 
the  form  of  the  judgment;  for  in  the  same  character  of  pro- 
ceedings which  has  marked  every  thing  done  since  the  mani- 
festation of  the  displeasure  of  the  managers  of  the  House  of 
Representatives,  the  Court  had  fixed  the  time  for  pronouncing 
judgment  before  they  had  settled  the  question,  guilty  or  not. 
It  appeared  to  me  very  doubtful  whether  the  facts  alleged  and 
proved  in  the  first  three  articles  amounted  to  impeachable  of- 
fences, and  particularly  whether  the  mere  refusal  of  a  judge  of 
an  inferior  court  to  allow  an  appeal  which  the  party  claiming 
it  can  assert  and  sustain  before  the  superior  tribunal,  notwith- 
standing such  refusal,  can  be  an  injury  either  to  an  individual 
or  the  public.  I  stated  to  the  President  my  doubts  on  this 
subject ;  that  I  had  not  had  the  time  necessary  to  examine  the 
subject,  and  inquired  whether  I  might  put  a  question  whether 
either  of  the  articles  constituted  an  impeachable  offence.  He 
said  no ;  the  only  question  to  be  put  was  that  of  guilty  or  not 
guilty  on  each  article  separately.  Mr.  White,  of  Delaware, 
moved  that  the  question  should  be  put  in  this  form  :  "  Is  John 
Pickering,  Judge  of  the  District  of  New  Hampshire,  guilty  or 
not  guilty  of  high  crimes  and  misdemeanors,  as  charged  in 
the  Article  of  Impeachment?"  Several  other  forms  of  ques- 
tion were  proposed,  and  the  galleries  cleared  for  discussion. 
Mr.  White's  form  of  question  was  taken  from  that  adopted  on 
the  trial  of  Hastings,  but  was  here  rejected,  for  the  purpose  of 
keeping  out  of  sight  the  questions  of  law  implied  in  the  terms 
"  high  crimes  and  misdemeanors."     The  form  adopted  was,  Is 


3o8  MEMOIRS   OF   JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [March, 

John  Pickering,  District  Judge  for  the  District  of  New  Hamp- 
shire, guilty,  as  charged  in  the  article?  and  the  answers  to  be 
aye  or  no.     This  form,  by  blending  all  the  law  and  facts  to- 
gether under  the  shelter  of  general  terms,  put  at  ease  a  few  of 
the  weak  brethren  who  scrupled  on  the  law,  and  a  few  who 
doubted  of  the  facts.    The  same  address  saved  their  consciences 
the  uttering  the  word  guilty,  which,  as  applied  to  a  man  de- 
prived of  his  senses,  shocks  the  feelings  even  of  those  who  had 
submitted  to  pronounce  him  so  in  the  fact.     Some  of  them 
knew  the  word  would  stick  in  their  throats,  though  they  were 
prepared  for  the  thing.     The  next  thing  to  agree  upon  was  the 
judgment;  the  time   fixed  for  pronouncing  it  was  past.      The 
managers,  and  indeed  the  whole   House  of  Representatives, 
were  at  the  door,  waiting.    A  form  was  proposed :     Shall  John 
Pickering,  District  Judge,  &c,  be  removed  from  office?    To  be 
put  if  the  vote  of  guilty,  aye  or  no,  should  be  against  him. 
This  form  was  agreed  to  in  the  midst  of  confusion,  and  with 
the  precipitation  now  become  habitual.     The  whole  House  of 
Representatives  came  in,  with  their  Speaker  at  their  head.  The 
managers  took  their  seats.     The  President  declared  the  Senate 
were  ready  to  pronounce  judgment;  when  Mr.  Wright,  who  sat 
before  me,  looked  back,  and  said  he  should  call  to  have  the 
record  of  the  District  Court  read,  on  which  the  first  article  of  im- 
peachment  was  founded.     I,  with  some  surprise,  and  with  a 
countenance  of  some  contempt  at  this  endeavor  to  bias  votes 
at  that  moment,  only  said,  "Evidence,  now!"      He  saw  his 
motive   detected.      The   record   undoubtedly  proved   the  fact 
alleged  in  the  first  article — of  restoration  of  the  vessel.     But 
the  question  of  law,  and  the  Judge's  state  of  mind,  could  not 
appear.      On   my  barely  saying  those   words,  he   colored  in 
crimson  to  the  eyes,  and  with  an  appearance  of  rage  said,  "  I 
don't  understand  you,  sir.     I  wish  you  would  treat  me  with 
decency  in  this  House."     I  answered,  "  Sir,  it  is  always  my  in- 
tention to  treat  you  with  decency."     He  turned  to  the  Presi- 
dent, and  called  for  the  record  to  be  read.     The  Secretary  ac- 
cordingly began  to  read  the  record,  which  was  long.     Before 
he  had  got  half  through,  General  Jackson  rose  and  said  it  was 
altogether  out  of  order,  and  called  for  the  reading  of  the  first 


1804.]  THE   SENATE    OF  THE    UNITED  STATES. 


309 


article  of  impeachment.  Wright  rose  and  said,  "  There  was 
something  at  the  conclusion  of  the  record!'  However,  the  call 
for  the  article  of  impeachment  was  repeated;  and  the  President 
ordered  it  to  be  read.  Mr.  Wright's  conclusion  of  the  record, 
therefore,  was  not  read,  .and  his  hopeful  project  failed. 

The  question  of  "  guilty,"  aye  or  no,  was  taken  separately 
on  the  four  articles,  after  each  article  read — nineteen  yeas  and 
seven  nays  on  each  article.  Then  on  the  question  of  removal — 
twenty  yeas  and  six  nays ;  Mr.  Wells  saying  that  although  he 
believed  the  man  not  guilty,  yet  the  competent  majority  having 
found  otherwise,  he  voted  for  the  removal.  The  Court  was 
then  adjourned  indefinitely. 

After  the  adjournment,  I  told  Mr.  Wells  that  the  grounds 
upon  which  I  voted  on  the  last  question,  against  the  removal, 
were  that  the  whole  proceedings  had  been  contrary  to  law,  and 
that  he  was  not  legally  convicted.  I  said  I  had  for  some  time 
doubted  in  my  own  mind  as  to  what  my  vote  ought  to  be  on 
that  question,  but  that  finally  that  was  the  conclusion  I  had 
drawn.  He  told  me  that  he  had  not  fully  reflected  on  the  sub- 
ject, and  believed  that  mine  was  the  correct  opinion. 

N.B. — Mr.  White  and  Mr.  Dayton  withdrew  from  the  Court 
and  did  not  vote,  on  the  ground,  as  they  alleged,  of  the  irregu- 
larity in  the  proceedings.  Mr.  Bradley  did  the  same,  perhaps  for 
the  same  cause,  and  probably  to  avoid  separating  from  his  party. 
Mr.  Stone  and  Mr.  Armstrong  likewise  absented  themselves, 
owing,  I  presume,  to  the  same  doubts  of  the  regularity  of  pro- 
ceedings, and  the  same  aversion  to  quit  their  party.  I  would 
gladly  have  done  the  same,  not  for  fear  of  quitting  my  party — 
for,  before  Heaven,  I  have  not  suffered  a  party  thought  to 
intermingle  with  my  judgment  in  the  case — but  to  bear  the 
loudest  testimony  against  such  a  course  of  proceedings.  How- 
ever, on  full  deliberation,  I  thought  my  true  line  of  duty  was 
to  remain  at  my  post,  and  discharge  myself  conformably  to 
the  special  oath  I  had  taken. 

After  the  adjournment  of  the  Senate,  I  went  into  the  House 
of  Representatives,  where  a  vote  passed  to  impeach  Judge 
Chase  of  high  crimes  and  misdemeanors. 

On  the  impeachment  of  Mr.  Pickering  there  are  two  remarks 


*IO  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [March, 

which  have  impressed  themselves  on  my  mind  with  peculiar 
forCe — the  subserviency  of  the  Senate,  even  when  acting  as  a 
Judicial  Court,  to  a  few  leading  members  of  the  House  of  Repre- 
sentatives, and  the  principle  assumed,  though  not  yet  openly 
avowed,  that  by  the  tenure  of  good  behavior  is  meant  an  active, 
continual,  and  unerring  execution  of  office.  So  that  insanity, 
sickness,  any  trivial  error  of  conduct  in  a  Judge,  must  be  con- 
strued into  misdemeanors, punishable  by  impeachment.  The  fact 
of  the  first  remark,  coupled  with  the  principle  assumed  by  the 
last,  I  think  must  produce  important  consequences  to  this  Union. 

13th.  I  continue  with  a  bad  cold,  but  attended  the  Senate. 
Day  rainy.  As  I  entered  the  room,  I  saw  Mr.  John  Randolph, 
Jr.,  and  Mr.  Early,  announcing  at  the  bar  of  the  Senate  the 
impeachment  of  Judge  Chase,  together  with  a  demand  that 
the  Senate  should  take  order  for  his  appearance.  The  rest  of 
the  day  was  employed  in  the  usual  legislative  business.  Sat 
until  half-past  four  o'clock. 

14th.  In  Senate.  A  bill  came  from  the  House  appropriating 
two  thousand  dollars  to  pay  witnesses  attending  on  the  im- 
peachment of  the  Judges  Pickering  and  Chase.  At  the  second 
reading,  Mr.  Wright,  from  the  Select  Committee,  proposed  an 
amendment  totally  changing  the  bill ;  making  no  reference  to 
the  two  Judges,  but  providing  for  the  payment  of  all  expenses 
on  impeachments  from  the  contingent  fund  of  the  two  Houses. 
The  object  of  this  appearing  to  be  to  veil  from  the  public  eye 
the  cost  of  these  prosecutions,  I  opposed  the  amendment.  It 
did  not  obtain.  But  it  was  found  necessary  to  increase  the 
appropriation  from  two  to  four  thousand  dollars.  The  report 
of  the  committee  on  the  petition  of  W.  A.  Barron  was  taken 
up.  Mr.  Baldwin  opposed  the  resolution,  on  the  ground  that 
it  should  have  passed  first  in  the  House  of  Representatives.  A 
question  was  taken  about  four  o'clock ;  but  there  was  not  a 
quorum  found,  and  the  Senate  adjourned.  I  dined  at  Dr. 
Thornton's.  Mr.  Pickering,  Mr.  Tracy,  Dr.  Logan,  Dr.  Ste- 
vens, Mr.  and  Mrs.  T.  Peter,  Captain  Tingey,  his  lady  and 
daughter,  and  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Pichon,  were  there.  After  dinner 
Mr.  Stuart,  the  painter,  came  in. 

23d.  A  great  number  of  bills  were  this  day  passed.     Indeed, 


1804.]  7^HE  SENATE    OF  THE    UNITED  STATES.  3II 

as  the  close  of  the  session  approaches,  very  little  attention  is 
paid  to  the  business,  and  almost  everything  passes  without 
discussion.     Sat  until  half-past  four  o'clock. 

24th.  In  Senate.  A  motion  was  made  by  Mr.  Dayton  for  a 
resolution  to  postpone  for  two  days,  from  Monday,  26th,  to 
Tuesday,  28th,  the  adjournment;  but  it  did  not  pass.  I  called 
for  consideration  the  resolution  I  offered  some  time  since  to 
have  the  records  of  the  proceedings  on  the  impeachment  of  J. 
Pickering  printed  as  an  appendix  to  the  Journals  of  the  session. 
The  majority  refused  to  take  it  up  for  consideration — eleven  to 
ten.  A  great  variety  of  bills  were  passed.  Mr.  Anderson  intro- 
duced an  alteration  in  the  bill  for  appropriating  fifty  thousand 
dollars  to  continue  the  public  buildings  here,  which  will  end  in 
defeating  the  bill  itself.  There  were  many  disagreements  between 
the  two  Houses ;  in  the  end  of  which  the  Senate  have  always 
yielded.  We  sat  until  almost  six  o'clock  in  the  evening. 
Finished  the  day's  business  with  going  partly  through  a  list  of 
nominations  to  office.  William  Johnson,  of  South  Carolina,  is 
appointed  a  Judge  of  the  Supreme  Court,  instead  of  Alfred 
Moore,  resigned. 

25th.  Attended  at  the  Capitol,  and  heard  Mr.  Parkinson.  I 
wish  to  remember  and  practise  on  his  advice, — to  forget  and 
forgive  all  the  resentments  and  injuries  which  have  been  ex- 
cited and  occasioned  during  the  session  of  Congress. 

26th.  This  was  the  day  fixed  upon  by  the  joint  resolution 
for  closing  the  session;  but,  from  the  great  accumulation  of 
business,  the  resolution  was  this  day  rescinded  by  a  joint  vote, 
and  the  Houses  are  to  be  adjourned  to-morrow.  A  great 
variety  of  bills  were  passed,  among  the  rest  one  for  raising  an 
additional  tax  of  about  eight  hundred  thousand  dollars,  to  be 
called  and  applied  as  a  Mediterranean  fund.  It  is  by  adding 
two  and  a  half  per  cent,  to  the  whole  list  of  ad' valorem  duties. 
Various  attempts  were  made  to  alter  and  amend  this  Act, 
altogether  without  success.  It  passed  at  last — twenty-one  yeas, 
five  nays.  In  the  House  of  Representatives  it  passed  unani- 
mously. At  four  o'clock  the  Senate  adjourned  until  five;  and, 
not  having  time  to  go  home,  I  accepted  an  invitation  from  Mr. 
Pickering,  and  went  and  dined  at  his  lodgings  with  him.     Met 


■yl2  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [March, 

again  at  five,  and  sat  until  nine  in  the  evening.  Got  through 
the  greatest  part  of  the  business,  but  left  a  little  for  to-morrow. 
Adjourned  to  ten  in  the  morning. 

In  executive  business,  Mr.  Wright  and  Dr.  Logan  called  for 
Mr.  Bradley's  report  of  24th  February,  against  the  Philadelphia 
lawyers  and  Edward  Livingston.  They  wanted  to  take  off  the 
injunction  of  secrecy  and  not  act  upon  the  report.  Some  ob- 
jection, however,  was  made,  and  the  matter  was  adjourned  over 
until  to-morrow.1 

27th.  The  first  session  of  the  Eighth  Congress  is  at  length 
closed.  The  two  Houses  met  at  ten  o'clock  this  morning. 
The  House  of  Representatives  had  almost  finished  their  busi- 
ness. The  Senate  had  eight  bills  to  pass.  There  was  little 
debate,  except  upon  the  disagreement  between  the  two  Houses 
on  the  bill  making  an  appropriation  for  the  public  buildings 
at  this  city.  The  bill,  as  it  passed  the  House,  was  finally 
agreed  to — seventeen  yeas,  seven  nays.  Mr.  Smith  of  Vermont 
had  been  the  member  of  the  Committee  of  Enrolled  Bills  on 
the  part  of  the  Senate  during  the  session.  He  went  away 
this  morning.  I  was  appointed  to  supply  his  place.  At  three 
o'clock  the  Senate  adjourned  until  four ;  but  I  was  occupied  in 
the  interval  with  Mr.  T.  M.  Randolph  in  examining  the  bills. 
It  was  with  the  utmost  difficulty  that  a  quorum  of  the  two 
Houses  in  the  afternoon  could  be  formed  ;  many  of  the  mem- 
bers having  left  the  city  in  the  course  of  the  day.  A  quorum, 
however,  was  at  length  made.  Mr.  Bradley's  report  was  post- 
poned to  the  next  session.  The  Committee  of  Enrolled  Bills 
presented  to  the  President,  who  was  in  the  committee  room  of 
the  Senate,  nine  bills  for  his  approbation.  They  were  soon 
after  returned  signed.     A  committee  was  raised  to  inform  the 

•  On  the  2 1st  of  February  the  President  sent  a  message  to  the  Senate  communi- 
cating certain  additional  papers  connected  with  a  convention  with  Spain  touching 
indemnities  for  spoliations  on  our  commerce.  Among  them  appeared  letters 
written  by  eminent  lawyers  in  Philadelphia,  disclosing  opinions,  professionally 
given,  on  these  matters,  to  the  agents  of  the  Spanish  government.  Mr.  Bradley 
took  exception  to  this  conduct,  and  obtained  a  committee  to  consider  the  question, 
which  reported  resolutions  requesting  the  President  to  institute  proceedings  against 
them.  This  curious  report  is  found  in  the  first  volume  of  the  Executive  Record, 
p.  469.     It  never  came  to  anything. 


iSo4.]  THE   SENATE    OF   THE    UNITED   STATES.  ^13 

President  that  Congress  were  about  to  adjourn,  and  reported 
he  had  nothing  further  to  communicate.  Messages  passed  be- 
tween the  two  Houses  with  notice  they  were  about  to  adjourn; 
and  at  half-past  six  p.m.  the  Senate  was  adjourned  until  the 
first  Monday  in  November.  I  came  home  and  dined  at  about 
eight  in  the  evening.  Found  Mr.  Bollman  here.  On  the  close 
of  this  session  of  Congress  there  are  various  observations  re- 
specting it  which  occur  to  my  mind,  but  which  I  shall  reserve 
for  another  place. 

New  York,  April  8th. — Mr.  King  and  Mr.Wolcott  called  to 
see  me,  and  I  had  long  conversations  with  them,  principally  on 
public  affairs.  I  paid  a  visit  to  Mr.  Burr  at  his  lodgings  in  the 
city.  He  says  if  the  election  were  to  be  a  fortnight  later  he 
should  probably  succeed.  Nothing  could  have  induced  him  to 
let  his  name  be  held  up  as  a  candidate  for  the  office  of  Governor 
of  New  York  but  the  absolute  necessity  of  interposing  to  save 
the  country  from  ruin  by  these  family  combinations,  &c,  &c, 
&c.  Dr.  Eustis  dined  with  us.  I  spent  the  evening  with  Mr. 
King.     Found  Mr.  Pickering  there. 

ioth.  Saw  Mr.  M.  L.  Davis  this  morning.  Dined  with  Mr. 
King.  Dr.  Eustis  and  Mr.  Payne  were  there.  I  spent  the 
evening  with  Mr.  King  in  particular  conversation. 

Quincy,  September  20th. — My  brother  went  to  Randolph  on 
business.  This  afternoon  I  read  Rapin's  comparison  between 
Thucydides  and  Livy.  It  is  entertaining;  but  the  method,  not 
having  been  carved  out  beforehand  by  Aristotle,  as  in  the  case 
of  the  two  former  parallels,  is  not  so  good.  I  also  read  over 
in  the  Portfolio  most  of  my  letters  on  Silesia,  which,  by  an  ad- 
vertisement in  the  newspapers,  appear  to  have  been  republished 
in  London  in  a  volume.  I  find  part  of  one  letter  from  Leipzig, 
relating  to  Lord  Holland  and  Mr.  Elliot,  which  I  always  much 
regretted  to  see  published,  and  which  I  shall  regret  still  more 
if  it  is  included  in  the  republication.  Mr.  Elliot  particularly, 
who  will  naturally  suppose,  if  the  book  should  ever  fall  into 
his  hands,  that  it  was  published  by  my  consent,  must  think 
himself  very  ill  treated  by  me,  in  return  for  his  civilities,  by  an 
allusion  to  his  domestic  history,  which  must  be  disagreeable 
to  him  and  his  family.    But  in  writing  the  Silesian  letters  I  had 


-J4  MEMOIRS    OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.        [November, 

no  expectation  that  any  of  them  would  be  published,  and  I 
certainly  never  should  have  written  that  one  had  I  imagined  it 
would  have  appeared  in  print.1 

October  3d.  Mr.  Quincy  was  here  this  morning,  and  urged  me 
to  consent  to  stand  as  a  candidate  for  the  office  of  the  President 
of  the  university.  Upon  which  I  could  only  repeat  the  answer 
I  gave  him  when  he  mentioned  it  to  me  last  week.  I  then 
supposed  him  joking ;  but  he  was  this  day  very  serious.  It  will 
not  answer.  They  are  still  to  choose  a  member  of  the  corpo- 
ration and  a  Professor  of  Divinity.  Quincy  opened  to  me  more 
fully  the  real  causes  of  their  former  delays,  and  the  personal 
and  family  views  which  enter  into  these  elections. 

Washington,  31st. — Paid  visits  to  the  President  and  Mr. 
Madison,  both  of  whom  I  found  at  home.  The  President  con- 
versed with  me  respecting  the  impressments  by  the  British 
frigates  upon  our  coast,  and  respecting  the  trade  carried  on  by 
some  of  the  merchants  with  the  blacks  at  St.  Domingo.  This 
he  appears  determined  to  suppress,  and  I  presume  a  law  will 
pass  for  the  purpose  at  the  approaching  session. 

November  5th.  This  was  the  day  to  which  the  session  of 
Congress  was  adjourned.  I  attended  at  the  Capitol  at  eleven  in 
the  morning.  Only  thirteen  Senators  attended,  with  the  Vice- 
President,  and,  not  being  a  sufficient  number  to  form  a  quorum, 
barely  met  and  adjourned.  Mr.  Giles  appeared  and  took  his 
seat  instead  of  Mr.  Venable,  who  has  resigned  since  the  last 
session.  The  Vice-President  also  gave  notice  that  he  had 
received  a  letter  from  Mr.  Wells,  of  Delaware,  containing  the 
resignation  of  his  seat.  After  the  adjournment  I  went  into  the 
Representatives'  chamber,  which  is  where  the  Library  was  for- 
merly kept.  They  formed  a  quorum,  and  agreed  to  the  appoint- 
ment of  the  usual  standing  committees. 

N.B. — The  Vice-President,  Mr.  Burr,  on  the  nth  of  July 
last  fought  a  duel  with  General  Alexander  Hamilton,  and 
mortally  wounded  him,  of  which  he  died  the  next  day.  The 
coroner's  inquest  on  his  body  found  a  verdict  of  wilful  murder 
by  Aaron  Burr,  Vice-President  of  the  United  States.  The 
Grand  Jury  in  the  County  of  New  York  found  an  indictment 

1  See  pages  240,  241. 


1804.]  THE   SENATE    OF   THE    UNITED   STATES.  3^ 

against  him,  under  the  statute,  for  sending  the  challenge;  and 
the  Grand  Jury  of  Bergen  County,  New  Jersey,  where  the  duel 
was  fought,  have  recently  found  a  bill  against  him  for  murder. 
Under  all  these  circumstances  Mr.  Burr  appears  and  takes  his 
seat  as  President  of  the  Senate  of  the  United  States. 

6th.  Seventeen  members  attended  in  the  Senate,  besides  the 
Vice-President.  One  member  more  was  wanting  to  make  a 
quorum  ;  whereupon  the  House  barely  met  and  adjourned. 

1 2th.  Senate  met;  received  a  list  of  renominations  of  persons 
appointed  to  office  during  the  recess.  Mr.  Monroe  is  appointed 
Envoy  Extraordinary  to  Spain,  Mr.  Pinckney  intending  to 
return.  Adjourned  immediately.  I  visited  General  Smith  (but 
he  was  gone  to  Baltimore),  Mr.  Law,  and  General  Wilkinson, 
who  says  the  management  of  the  people  of  Louisiana  will  be 
troublesome.  He  said  he  had  a  letter  from  Edward  Living- 
ston, in  which  he  avows  himself  the  author  of  the  Louisiana 
memorial  published  last  summer.  He  further  says  that  Gov- 
ernor Claiborne  gives  great  dissatisfaction  there  in  his  office, 
and  is  very  unfit  for  it.  Yet  the  General  at  his  request  solicited 
the  office  for  him.  Claiborne  desired  him  to  say  to  the  Presi- 
dent that  he  wished  to  have  the  refusal  of  the  place,  though  he 
should  perhaps  not  accept  it;  but  the  offer  was  necessary  to 
support  him  against  the  insinuations  and  calumnies  of  his 
enemies.  This  the  General  faithfully  reported  to  the  President, 
who  made  him  no  answer.  Claiborne  had  the  refusal,  but  did 
not  refuse.  Wilkinson  says  he  is  hooted  at  by  the  very  old 
women,  whom  he  has  heard  exclaim,  "Quel  Commandant! 
quel  Gouverneur !  quelle  bete!" 

1 6th.  The  races  at  length  are  finished,  and  the  Senate  really 
met  this  day.  Mr.  Bradley  moved  to  go  into  the  consideration 
of  executive  business,  merely  for  the  sake  of  having  on  the 
printed  Journals  an  appearance  of  doing  business,  though  there 
was  really  none  to  do.  This  vote  passed,  for  mine  was  the  only 
voice  heard  against  it.  My  reason  was  a  natural  abhorrence  of 
tricks  to  save  appearances,  contrary  to  the  real  truth  of  things. 

23d.  The  credentials  of  Mr.  Bayard,  as  Senator  for  Delaware 
this  session,  instead  of  Mr.  Wells,  resigned,  were  read,  as  were 
those  of  Dr.  Mitchell,  Senator  for  New  York,  instead  of  General 


^5  MEMOIRS    OF   JOHN  QUIXCY  ADAMS.        [November, 

Armstrong.  Dr.  Mitchell  took  his  seat.  I  wrote  to  my  father 
and  Mr.  Dennie.  Dined  with  the  President.  Mrs.  Adams  did 
not  go.  The  company  were  Mr.  R.  Smith,  Secretary  of  the 
Navy,  and  his  lady,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Harrison,  Miss  Jenifer  and 
Miss  Mouchette,  Mr.  Brent,  and  the  President's  two  sons-in- 
law,  with  Mr.  Burwell,  his  private  secretary.  I  had  a  good 
deal  of  conversation  with  the  President.  The  French  Minister 
just  arrived  had  been  this  day  first  presented  to  him,  and  ap- 
pears to  have  displeased  him  by  the  profusion  of  gold  lace 
on  his  clothes.  He  says  they  must  get  him  down  to  a  plain 
frock  coat,  or  the  boys  in  the  streets  will  run  after  him  as  a 
sight.  I  asked  if  he  had  brought  his  Imperial  credentials,  and 
was  answered  he  had.  Mr.  Jefferson  then  turned  the  conver- 
sation towards  the  French  Revolution,  and  remarked  how  con- 
trary to  all  expectation  this  great  bonleverscment  had  turned  out. 
It  seemed  as  if  every  thing  in  that  country  for  the  last  twelve 
or  fifteen  years  had  been  a  dream  ;  and  who  could  have 
imagined  that  such  an  ebranlement  would  have  come  to  this? 
He  thought  it  very  much  to  be  wished  that  they  could  now 
return  to  the  Constitution  of  1789,  and  call  back  the  Old  Family. 
For  although  by  that  Constitution  the  Government  was  much 
too  weak,  and  although  it  was  defective  in  having  a  Legisla- 
ture in  only  one  branch,  yet  even  thus  it  was  better  than  the 
present  form,  where  it  was  impossible  to  perceive  any  limits.  I 
have  used  as  near  as  possible  his  very  words ;  for  this  is  one 
of  the  most  unexpected  phases  in  the  waxing  and  waning 
opinions  of  this  gentleman  concerning  the  French  Revolution. 
He  also  mentioned  to  me  the  extreme  difficulty  he  had  in  find- 
ing fit  characters  for  appointments  in  Louisiana,  and  said  he 
would  now  give  the  creation  for  a  young  lawyer  of  good  abilities, 
and  who  could  speak  the  French  language,  to  go  to  New 
Orleans  as  one  of  the  Judges  of  the  Superior  Court  in  the 
Territory.  The  salary  was  about  two  thousand  dollars.  We 
had  been  very  lucky  in  obtaining  one  such  Judge,  in  Mr. 
Prevost,  of  New  York,  who  had  accepted  the  appointment, 
and  was  perfectly  well  qualified,  and  he  was  in  extreme  want 
of  another.  I  could  easily  have  named  a  character  fully  corre- 
sponding to  the  one  he  appeared  so  much  to  want.     But  if  his 


1804.]  THE   SENATE    OF  THE    UNITED   STATES.  ^iy 

observations  were  meant  as  a  consultation  or  an  intent  to  ask 
whether  I  knew  any  such  person  I  could  recommend,  he  was  not 
sufficiently  explicit.  Though  if  they  were  not,  I  know  not  why 
he  made  them  to  me.  He  further  observed  that  both  French 
and  Spanish  ought  to  be  made  primary  objects  of  acquisition  in 
all  the  educations  of  our  young  men.  As  to  Spanish,  it  was  so 
easy  that  he  had  learned  it,  with  the  help  of  a  Don  Quixote 
lent  him  by  Mr.  Cabot,  and  a  grammar,  in  the  course  of  a  pas- 
sage to  Europe,  on  which  he  was  but  nineteen  days  at  sea.  But 
Mr.  Jefferson  tells  large  stories.  At  table  he  told  us  that  when 
he  was  at  Marseilles  he  saw  there  a  Mr.  Bergasse,  a  famous 
manufacturer  of  wines,  who  told  him  that  he  would  make  him 
any  sort  of  wine  he  would  name,  and  in  any  quantities,  at  six 
or  eight  sols  the  bottle.  And  though  there  should  not  be  a 
drop  of  the  genuine  wine  required  in  his  composition,  yet  it 
should  so  perfectly  imitate  the  taste,  that  the  most  refined  con- 
noisseur should  not  be  able  to  tell  which  was  which.  You  never 
can  be  an  hour  in  this  man's  company  without  something  of 
the  marvellous,  like  these  stories.  His  genius  is  of  the  old 
French  school.  It  conceives  better  than  it  combines.  He  showed 
us,  among  other  things,  a  Natural  History  of  Parrots,  in  French, 
with  colored  plates  very  beautifully  executed. 

26th.  After  the  Senate  adjourned,  I  went  into  the  lobby  of 
the  House  of  Representatives,  and  heard  a  debate  on  a  petition 
from  Princeton  College  for  the  exemption  of  duties  on  certain 
books  imported  by  them.  The  decision  was  against  the  ex- 
emption. We  had  company  at  home  this  evening — Mr.  and 
Mrs.  Thompson,  Mr.  Sheldon,  Mr.  Aikin,  a  Mr.  Thomas,  of  Bal- 
timore, Mr.  Chapman,  and  Mr.  Tabbs.  Mr.  Sheldon  says  the 
impost  at  New  Orleans  will  yield  three  hundred  thousand 
dollars  a  year,  and  that  the  Western  States  are  supplied  with 
foreign  goods  entirely  from  Philadelphia  and  Baltimore.  Mr. 
White,  of  Delaware,  this  day  told  me  that  Mr.  Wright  had 
offered  him  and  requested  him  to  sign  an  address  to  Governor 
Bloomfield,  of  New  Jersey,  soliciting  him  to  direct  that  a  nolle 
prosequi  should  be  entered,  on  the  part  of  the  State,  on  the 
indictment  for  murder  found  by  the  Grand  Jury  of  the  County 
of  Bergen  against  Mr.  Burr;  that  this  address  was  drawn  up 


3I8  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.       [November, 

by  Mr.  Giles,  and  that  it  was  to  be  signed  by  those  members 
of  the  Senate  who  judged  proper,  as  Senators  of  the  United 
States.  Mr.  White  said  he  had  asked  time  to  consider  of  it, 
having  some  scruple  of  its  propriety.  For  although  there 
might  be  different  opinions  on  the  subject  of  duelling,  he 
doubted  whether  he  ought  so  to  fly  in  the  face  of  all  the  laws 
of  the  country,  as  was  proposed  by  this  address. 

29th.  At  last  the  signal  of  approaching  business  is  given. 
Mr.  Giles  this  day  moved  the  appointment  of  a  committee  to 
draw  up  and  report  rules  of  proceeding  for  the  Senate  in  cases 
of  impeachment  generally.  We  are  now  to  have  another  speci- 
men of  what  impeachments  are  under  our  Constitution.  This  Mr. 
Giles  has  long  been  one  of  the  most  inveterate  enemies  of  Judge 
Chase  in  the  United  States,  and  while  a  member  of  the  House 
of  Representatives,  two  years  ago,  declared  he  would  himself 
impeach  him  were  he  not  compelled  by  the  state  of  his  health 
to  relinquish  his  seat  in  Congress.  He  has  now  become  one  of 
the  judges  to  try  him,  and  what  chance  of  impartiality  is  to  be 
expected  from  him  may  be  easily  imagined.  But  the  issue  of 
this  prosecution,  like  that  of  Judge  Pickering  last  winter,  must 
be  settled  out  of  doors.  And  for  this  purpose,  Mr.  John  Ran- 
dolph, the  prosecutor,  and  Mr.  Giles,  the  judge,  are  in  daily  con- 
ference together.  It  is  said  they  have  been  obliged  to  delay 
the  subject  for  some  time  on  account  of  the  difficulty  of  man- 
aging Dr.  Mitchell,  who  has  always  been  averse  to  the  impeach- 
ment, and  who  has  now  become  a  Senator.  But  when  I  recollect 
the  conduct  of  many  Senators  at  the  last  impeachment,  and 
especially  that  of  Mr.  Bradley,  of  Vermont,  I  have  little  faith 
in  any  resistance  of  principle  in  this  Senate  against  the  resolute 
violence  of  the  leaders  in  the  House  of  Representatives. 

30th.  Mr.  Giles's  committee  to  propose  and  report  rules  for 
impeachment  was  this  day  appointed — of  five — Messrs.  Giles, 
Baldwin,  Breckinridge,  Bradley,  and  Stone.  The  spirit  of  party 
is  apparent  even  in  this  selection.  Mr.  Randolph,  also  in  the 
House  of  Representatives,  brought  forward  two  new  articles  of 
impeachment  against  Judge  Chase.  So  the  proceedings  of  the 
accuser  and  judge  proceed  pari  passu.  Mr.  Pickering  told  me 
he  should  give  notice  of  asking  leave  to  bring  forward  the  reso- 


1804.]  THE   SENATE    OF   THE    UNITED  STATES.  ^jg 

lution  for  amending  the  Constitution  on  Monday,  and  the  reso- 
lution itself  on  Tuesday.  I  translated  another  French  song  this 
evening. 

December  3d.  Mr.  Pickering  gave  notice  of  his  intention  to 
ask  leave  to-morrow  to  bring  in  a  resolution  for  an  amendment 
to  the  Constitution,  conformably  to  our  instructions.  Went  into 
the  lobby  of  the  House  of  Representatives,  and  found  them  in 
committee  of  the  whole  on  the  articles  of  impeachment  reported 
against  Judge  Chase.  They  agreed  to  them  all,  and  reported 
them  to  the  House. 

4th.  In  the  evening  I  was  employed  in  drawing  up  an  article 
for  amendment  of  the  Constitution,  under  our  instructions  from 
the  Massachusetts  Legislature.  Mr.  Pickering  and  myself  have 
both  drawn  several  without  satisfying  ourselves.  It  is  difficult 
to  draw  it  in  such  a  manner  as  to  avoid  collision  with  another 
part  of  the  Constitution. 

6th.  The  House  of  Representatives  sent  this  morning  a  mes- 
sage to  the  Senate,  with  three  resolutions,  purporting  that  they 
had  agreed  to  the  articles  of  impeachment  against  Judge  Chase, 
had  appointed  seven  managers  to  conduct  it,  and  had  directed 
the  managers  to  bring  the  articles  to  the  Senate.  Some  ques- 
tion then  arose  as  to  the  mode  of  proceeding.  Mr.  Giles's 
committee  were  not  ready  to  report,  and  it  was  agreed  to  take 
time  until  to-morrow  for  consideration.  Some  other  business, 
of  little  consideration,  was  transacted.  Meantime,  the  managers 
from  the  House  had  come  to  the  door  and  demanded  admission, 
bringing  the  articles  with  them.  The  only  way  the  Vice-Presi- 
dent had  to  keep  them  out  was  to  declare  the  Senate  adjourned, 
which  he  instantly  did  on  a  motion  which  had  luckily  been 
made  some  time  before. 

7th.  Mr.  Pickering  this  day  offered  his  resolution  for  an 
amendment  to  the  Constitution,  which  lies  for  consideration. 
At  one  o'clock  the  managers  from  the  House,  of  the  impeach- 
ment against  Judge  Chase,  brought  up  their  eight  articles, 
which  were  read  by  Mr.  John  Randolph.  Three  resolutions  of 
the  inhabitants  of  Alexandria  against  the  cession  of  that  county 
to  the  State  of  Virginia  were  received  by  the  Vice-President, 
enclosed  in  a  letter  from  the  Mayor  of  that  city.    But  they  were 


-120  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.        [December, 

not  read.  The  resolutions,  though  couched  in  the  most  respect- 
ful language,  deny  in  a  spirited  manner  the  right  of  Congress 
to  cede  the  territory  and  people  to  any  State,  and  declare  it 
would  be  extremely  injurious  to  their  interest  to  be  ceded  to 
Virginia.  Our  Vice-President  therefore  did  not  dare  to  have 
them  read.  For  Mr.  John  Randolph  has  been  raving  all  this 
session  in  favor  of  the  measure  against  which  the  Alexandrians 
protest,  and  Mr.  Giles  drew  up  and  procured  the  subscriptions 
of  the  party  in  Senate  to  the  address  to  Governor  Bloomfield, 
asking  him  to  screen  Mr.  Burr  from  trial  for  murder,  of  which 
he  now  stands  indicted.  We  adjourned  over  to  Monday,  and 
next  week  shall  doubtless  go  seriously  to  business. 

ioth.  In  Senate,  a  summons  to  Judge  Chase  was  agreed  to, 
returnable  2d  January,  1805,  to  be  served  fifteen  days  before- 
hand. Mr.  Jackson,  of  Georgia,  was  anxious  to  have  it  return- 
able 1st  January,  to  begin  the  year  with  the  trial,  and  finish 
it  as  soon  as  possible.  He  said  he  found  by  the  Northern  news- 
papers that  the  people  began  already  to  say  it  would  prove  a 
sort  of  Warren  Hastings  business ;  and  he,  for  his  part,  was  for 
beginning  and  going  through  it  without  delay.  With  respect 
to  the  rules  of  impeachment  reported  by  Mr.  Giles  and  his  com- 
mittee, he  seems  to  wish  for  debate,  but  cannot  get  it.  Debate 
on  this  subject  with  him  or  his  party  would  be  ridiculous,  after 
the  experience  of  the  last  session. 

nth.  In  Senate  scarcely  anything  was  done  but  confirming 
sundry  nominations  to  office.  Among  the  rest  was  Benjamin 
Austin,  Jr.,  to  be  Commissioner  of  Loans  for  Massachusetts. 
The  co-operation  of  the  Senate  in  all  appointments  is  at  present 
a  mere  formality,  and  a  very  disgusting  formality.  Mr.  Frank- 
lin this  day  called  for  the  Senators  of  the  States  to  which  the 
candidates  belonged  to  testify  to  their  characters.  When 
Austin's  name  was  read,  as  nobody  rose,  I  said  that  I  knew  Mr. 
Austin,  but  could  say  nothing  of  him.  Mr.  Ellery  then  rose, 
and  said  he  was  a  man  of  very  great  abilities,  and  the  most  re- 
spectable character.  He  was  appointed  without  contradiction. 
So  that  Mr.  Franklin's  solicitude  was  only  to  obtain  a  panegyric 
upon  the  persons  nominated,  which  is  indeed  the  unvaried 
course  of  proceeding. 


i8o4.]  THE   SENATE    OF   THE    UNITED   STATES.  j2I 

1 2th.  The  remainder  of  the  nominations  to  offices  which 
were  yesterday  postponed  in  Senate  were  this  day  confirmed. 
It  seemed  as  if  some  opposition  would  be  made  to  the  re- 
appointment of  Mr.  Claiborne  as  Governor  of  the  Territory  of 
Orleans  ;  but  when  the  vote  was  taken,  only  one  voice  answered 
in  the  negative.  William  Lyman  was  appointed  Consul  to 
London.  General  Smith  said  unless  somebody  would  attest 
his  competency,  he  should  vote  against  him.  Mr.  Giles,  Dr. 
Mitchell,  and  Mr.  Bradley  took  that  task  upon  them.  Mr. 
Giles  said  he  derived  all  his  knowledge  of  him  from  having  sat 
with  him  as  a  member  of  the  other  House.  Smith  was  a  mem- 
ber of  the  House  himself  at  the  same  time,  and  it  seems  had 
not  discovered  Lyman's  merits ;  but  he  was  satisfied  with  the 
attestations  now  given,  and  acquiesced  in  the  appointment. 

15th.  I  was  so  unwell  and  hoarse  that  I  should  have  confined 
myself  to  the  house  this  day  ;  but  Mr.  Pickering  yesterday 
invited  me  to  dine  with  him,  in  company  with  the  Louisiana 
deputies,  Messrs.  Sauve,  Derbigny,  and  Detrehan.  I  went  ac- 
cordingly, though  the  weather  was  very  bad.  The  two  former 
of  these  gentlemen  speak  English  very  well.  The  last,  who  is 
a  native  of  Louisiana,  speaks  only  French.  They  do  not  appear 
very  sanguine  of  success  in  their  present  negotiation.  They 
are,  however,  very  much  dissatisfied  with  the  state  of  things  in 
their  country,  and  above  all  with  Governor  Claiborne,  whom 
they  most  cordially  detest.  The  prohibition  of  the  slave  trade 
is  also  an  object  of  great  discontent  to  them.  If  they  could  be 
quieted  on  these  two  points,  I  think  they  would  return  home  well 
pleased.     But  it  is  not  probable  they  will  be  gratified  in  either. 

20th.  In  Senate  the  principal  subject  considered  was  the  re- 
port of  the  Committee  for  Rules  on  Impeachments.  Mr.  Giles 
gave  us  his  theory  of  impeachments  under  our  present  Con- 
stitution. According  to  him,  impeachment  is  nothing  more 
than  an  enquiry,  by  the  two  Houses  of  Congress,  whether  the 
office  of  any  public  man  might  not  be  better  filled  by  another. 
This  is  undoubtedly  the  source  and  object  of  Mr.  Chase's  im- 
peachment, and  on  the  same  principle  any  officer  may  easily 
be  removed  at  any  time. 

2 1  st.  Mr.  White  this  day  moved  in  Senate  an  adjournment  to 

VOL.  I. — 21 


322  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.        [December, 

Monday,  the  last  day  of  this  month;  upon  which  some  debate 
was  had,  and  the  subject  subsided,  until  next  Monday.  There 
was  little  business  to  do,  and  the  adjournment  took  place  early. 
Sitting  by  the  fireside  afterwards,  I  witnessed  a  conversation 
between  Mr.  Giles  and  Mr.  Israel  Smith,  on  the  subject  of  im- 
peachments ;  during  which  Mr.  John  Randolph  came  in  and 
took  part  in  the  discussion.  Giles  labored  with  excessive 
earnestness  to  convince  Smith  of  certain  principles,  upon  which 
not  only  Mr.  Chase,  but  all  the  other  Judges  of  the  Supreme 
Court,  excepting  the  one  last  appointed,  must  be  impeached 
and  removed.  He  treated  with  the  utmost  contempt  the  idea 
of  an  independent  judiciary — said  there  was  not  a  word  about 
such  an  independence  in  the  Constitution,  and  that  their  pre- 
tensions to  it  were  nothing  more  nor  less  than  an  attempt  to 
establish  an  aristocratic  despotism  in  themselves.  The  power 
of  impeachment  was  given  without  limitation  to  the  House  of 
Representatives ;  the  power  of  trying  impeachments  was  given 
equally  without  limitation  to  the  Senate ;  and  if  the  Judges  of 
the  Supreme  Court  should  dare,  as  they  had  done,  to  declare  an 
act  of  Congress  unconstitutional,  or  to  send  a  mandamus  to  the 
Secretary  of  State,  as  they  had  done,  it  was  the  undoubted 
right  of  the  House  of  Representatives  to  impeach  them,  and  of 
the  Senate  to  remove  them,  for  giving  such  opinions,  however 
honest  or  sincere  they  may  have  been  in  entertaining  them. 
Impeachment  was  not  a  criminal  prosecution  ;  it  was  no  prose- 
cution at  all.  The  Senate  sitting  for  the  trial  of  impeachments 
was  not  a  court,  and  ought  to  discard  and  reject  all  process  of 
analogy  to  a  court  of  justice.  A  trial  and  removal  of  a  judge 
upon  impeachment  need  not  imply  any  criminality  or  corrup- 
tion in  him.  Congress  had  no  power  over  the  person,  but  only 
over  the  office.  And  a  removal  by  impeachment  was  nothing 
more  than  a  declaration  by  Congress  to  this  effect:  You  hold 
dangerous  opinions,  and  if  you  are  suffered  to  carry  them  into 
effect  you  will  work  the  destruction  of  the  nation.  We  zvant 
your  offices,  for  the  purpose  of  giving  them  to  men  who  will  fill 
them  better.  In  answer  to  all  this,  Mr.  Smith  only  contended 
that  honest  error  of  opinion  could  not,  as  he  conceived,  be  a  sub- 
ject of  impeachment.    And  in  pursuit  of  this  principle  he  proved 


1804.]  THE   SENATE    OF   THE    UNITED   STATES.  323 

clearly  enough  the  persecution  and  tyranny  to  which  those  of 
Giles  and  Randolph  inevitably  lead.  It  would,  he  said,  establish 
a  tyranny  over  opinions,  and  he  traced  all  the  arguments  of  Giles 
to  their  only  possible  issue  of  rank  absurdity.  In  all  this  con- 
versation I  opened  my  lips  but  once,  in  which  I  told  Giles  that 
I  could  not  assent  to  his  definition  of  the  term  impeachment. 
It  was  easy  to  see  that  Giles  was  anxious  about  Smith's  vote 
on  the  impeachment  of  Judge  Chase.  His  manner  was  dog- 
matical and  peremptory.  Smith's  was  not  merely  mild  and 
hesitating,  but  continually  conceding  too  much,  and,  to  use  an 
expression  of  Burke,  "  above  all  things  afraid  of  being  too 
much  in  the  right."  Mr.  Smith  has  so  often  expressed  these 
opinions  that  the  friends  of  Judge  Chase  flatter  themselves  he 
will  vote  for  an  acquittal  on  the  trial.  His  opinions  were  correct 
on  the  impeachment  of  Judge  Pickering,  but  his  vote  abandoned 
them.  Indeed,  Giles's  doctrines  are  very  natural  inferences  from 
those  upon  which  that  case  was  decided,  and  I  never  can  have 
any  confidence  in  the  resolute  integrity  of  those  who  shrunk 
from  the  convictions  of  their  own  consciences  at  that  time.  It 
is  obvious  that  on  Smith's  principles  Chase  must  be  acquitted, 
for  the  articles  of  impeachment  contain  no  charge  which  in- 
dicates corruption  or  turpitude.  So  that  Smith  and  Giles  were 
really  trying  the  judge  over  the  fireside.  Old  Mathers,  the 
door-keeper,  saw  this  so  plainly  that  after  they  were  gone  he 
said  to  me,  "If  all  were  of  Mr.  Giles's  opinion,  they  never  need 
trouble  themselves  to  bring  Judge  Chase  here."  I  perceive, 
also,  that  the  impeachment  system  is  to  be  pursued,  and  the 
whole  bench  of  the  Supreme  Court  to  be  swept  away,  because 
their  offices  arc  wanted.  And  in  the  present  state  of  things  I  am 
convinced  it  is  as  easy  for  Mr.  John  Randolph  and  Mr.  Giles 
to  do  this  as  to  say  it. 

24th.  The  rules  of  proceedings  in  cases  of  impeachments, 
reported  by  Mr.  Giles,  were  again  taken  up  this  morning.  Mr. 
Bradley  had  made  a  motion,  last  Thursday,  for  an  amendment, 
which  Giles  and  several  others  had  opposed.  It  was  not  then 
decided,  the  Vice-President  having  stopped  Mr.  Bradley  after 
he  had  spoken  twice  to  his  motion  and  was  rising  to  speak  a 
third  time.     The  rigorous  rule  of  Senate  allows  a  member  to 


324  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.        [December, 

speak  only  twice  to  the  same  motion,  but  it  is  not  always  in- 
sisted on.  The  members  expressed  a  desire  to  hear  Mr.  Brad- 
ley, but  he  was  piqued  at  the  check  given  him,  and  quitted  the 
House.  He  has  not  been  in  since,  being  detained  at  his  lodg- 
ings by  a  severe  cold,  as  I  am  informed.  I  therefore  moved 
that  the  subject  might  be  postponed  until  he  could  attend.  But 
Mr.  Giles  insisted  upon  taking  it  up  now,  and  of  course  my 
motion  to  postpone  was  rejected.  Giles  then  offered  to  post- 
pone, or  to  put  the  previous  question  upon  Mr.  Bradley's 
amendment;  but  this  the  Vice-President  declared  to  be  not  in 
order.  The  question  on  it  was  therefore  immediately  taken, 
and  it  was  negatived.  Among  the  rules  reported  was  the  form 
of  the  oath  to  be  taken  by  the  President  and  members  previous 
to  the  trial,  and  also  the  form  of  the  oath  to  be  taken  by  wit- 
nesses. The  rule  directed  that  the  oath  to  be  taken  by  the 
President  should  be  administered  by  the  Secretary ;  and  this  part 
of  the  report  was  adopted,  without  any  objection  by  Mr.  Giles 
or  any  other  person.  But  the  words  in  open  Court,  and  this  Court, 
were  in  the  reported  rules,  and  Mr.  Giles  moved  to  strike  them 
out,  on  the  ground  that  the  Senate,  sitting  for  the  trial  of  an 
impeachment,  is  not  a  Court.  His  only  reason  for  this  is  that 
the  Constitution,  in  giving  them  the  power  to  try  impeach- 
ments, does  not  expressly  style  them  a  Court ;  and  he  is  for 
avoiding  all  constructions  of  the  Constitution,  and  adhering  to 
the  letter.  His  motive  for  this  antipathy  to  the  term  Court  is, 
that  the  Senate,  in  their  proceedings  on  this  and  the  future  im- 
peachments which  he  meditates,  may  be  absolved  from  all  the 
rules  and  principles  which  restrain  and  bind  down  courts  of 
justice  to  the  practice  of  justice.  He  wants  for  his  purpose 
liberty,  unbounded  as  the  sea;  and  to  obtain  it,  his  first  ex- 
pedient is  to  discard  and  reject  the  idea  that  our  proceedings 
ought,  as  nearly  as  possible,  to  conform  to  the  proceedings  of 
a  judicial  court.  But  it  appears  he  was  not  aware  that  his 
theory  may  be  turned  against  himself,  and  stop  us  short  in  the 
progress  of  our  impeachment,  for  want  of  authorities  to  proceed, 
instead  of  letting  us  loose  from  all  the  barriers  that  shelter  in- 
nocence in  the  forms  of  judicial  courts.  However,  it  was  vain 
to  urge  any  objection  against  his  motions  to  strike  out  the 


i8o4.]  THE   SENATE    OF  THE    UNITED  STATES.  325 

word  Court,  and  it  was  in  two  instances  struck  out  accordingly. 
But  the  rule  which  reported  the  form  of  the  oath  to  be  taken 
by  witnesses  had  not  said  by  whom  it  should  be  administered. 
Upon  which  I  moved  to  insert  the  words  "  by  the  Secretary." 
This  immediately  gave  rise  to  a  long  debate.  General  Jackson 
at  first  opposed  my  motion,  on  the  ground  that  the  words  were 
unnecessary \  as  the  Secretary  would  swear  the  witnesses  of 
course.  But  Mr.  Giles  took  very  different  ground,  and  not  only 
denied  the  Secretary's  power  to  administer  the  oath  of  course, 
but  the  power  of  the  Senate  itself  to  authorize  their  Secretary 
to  administer  an  oath  at  all.  He  therefore  proposed  the  ex- 
pedient of  sending  for  a  common  magistrate  to  come  and 
administer  all  the  oaths.  But  it  was  soon  discovered  that 
unless  the  Senate,  sitting  for  the  trial  of  impeachments,  pos- 
sessed the  powers  incidental  to  judicial  courts,  they  had  no 
more  power  to  issue  writs,  summonses,  and  subpoenas  than  to 
administer  oaths ;  and,  also,  that  all  the  proceedings  last  winter 
against  Judge  Pickering  were  unconstitutional,  and  he  has  not 
been  legally  removed.  The  longer  the  debate  continued,  the 
deeper  Mr.  Giles  and  his  party  got  involved  in  difficulty.  They 
could  not  vote  with  me  against  him,  for  that  would  have  been 
treason  to  the  party.  They  could  not  vote  with  him  against 
me,  without  checkmating  their  own  impeachment.  General 
Jackson,  who  at  first  had  opposed  my  amendment,  now  came 
round  and  advocated  it  with  his  customary  warmth;  and  finally 
proposed  himself  a  mere  variation  in  its  phraseology,  to  which 
I  instantly  consented,  and  it  was  carried  by  a  large  majority. 
In  this  debate  the  President  suffered  Mr.  Giles  to  speak  three 
times  without  checking  him  as  he  did  Mr.  Bradley  last  week. 
Indeed,  his  partialities  to  Giles  have  been  frequent  and  obvious 
this  session.  His  impartiality  at  the  last  session  was  exemplary 
and  without  exception.  But  there  is  a  key  to  everything.  The 
Vice-President  is  under  an  indictment  by  a  grand  jury  for 
murder;  and  Giles  drew  up  and  circulated  an  address  to  the 
Governor  of  New  Jersey,  requesting  him  to  stay  the  prose- 
cution. 

31st.  I  attended  earlier  than  usual  at  the  Senate  chamber,  to 
meet  the  committee  on  the  bill  to  declare  Cambridge  a  port  of 


,26  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.        [December. 

delivery.  Agreed  upon  a  report,  which  was  made.  Met  also 
the  committee  on  the  Invalid  bill ;  both  the  other  members  are 
against  its  principle.  In  Senate  the  principal  subject  of  debate 
was  the  Impeachment  Rules.  Mr.  Giles  introduced  a  new  one, 
which,  together  with  those  already  passed,  excludes  all  debate 
and  discussion  on  any  question  arising  in  the  course  of  the  trial. 
This  appears  to  me  improper.  I  therefore  moved  to  strike  out 
the  words  "  and  without  debate,"  which  Giles  of  course  vehe- 
mently opposed,  and  effectually.  I  am  suspicious,  however,  the 
question  will  come  up  again  before  the  trial  is  over. 

Day.  As  the  last  month. 

The  year  which  this  day  expires  has  been  distinguished  in 
the  course  of  my  life  by  its  barrenness  of  events.  During  its 
first  three  and  last  two  months  I  was  here  attending  my  duty 
as  a  Senator  of  the  United  States.  The  seven  intervening 
months  were  passed  in  travelling  to  and  from  Quincy,  and  in 
residence  at  my  father's  house  there.  The  six  months  spent  at 
Quincy  were  not  idle.  Indeed,  I  have  seldom  in  the  whole 
course  of  my  life  been  more  busily  engaged.  I  gave  some 
attention  to  agricultural  pursuits,  but  I  soon  found  they  lost 
their  relish,  and  that  they  never  would  repay  the  labor  they 
require.  My  studies  were  assiduous  and  seldom  interrupted. 
I  meant  to  give  them  such  a  direction  as  should  be  useful  in  its 
tendency  ;  yet  on  looking  back,  and  comparing  the  time  con- 
sumed with  the  knowledge  acquired,  I  have  no  occasion  to  take 
pride  in  the  result  of  my  application.  I  have  been  a  severe 
student  all  the  days  of  my  life ;  but  an  immense  proportion 
of  the  time  I  have  dedicated  to  the  search  of  knowledge  has 
been  wasted  upon  subjects  which  can  never  be  profitable  to 
myself  or  useful  to  others.  Another  source  of  useless  toil,  is 
the  want  of  a  method  properly  comprehensive  and  minute,  in 
the  pursuit  of  my  inquiries.  This  method  has  been  to  me  a 
desideratum  for  many  years  ;  I  have  found  none  in  books  ;  nor 
have  I  been  able  to  contrive  one  for  myself.  From  these  two 
causes  I  have  derived  so  little  use  from  my  labors  that  it  has 
often  brought  me  to  the  borders  of  discouragement,  and  I  have 
been  tempted  to  abandon  my  books  altogether.  This,  however, 
is  impossible;  for  the  habit  has  so  long  been  fixed  in  me  as  to 


1805.]  THE   SENATE    OF  THE    UNITED   STATES.  327 

have  become  a  passion,  and  when  once  severed  from  my  books 
I  find  little  or  nothing  in  life  to  fill  the  vacancy  of  time.  I  must, 
therefore,  continue  to  plod,  and  to  lose  my  labor ;  contenting 
myself  with  the  consolation  that  even  this  drudgery  of  science 
contributes  to  virtue,  though  it  lead  not  to  wealth  or  honor.  In 
respect  to  my  family,  it  has  pleased  Heaven  to  extend  peculiar 
favor  to  me  during  this  year.  My  parents,  my  wife  and  chil- 
dren, have  all  been  preserved  to  me,  though  my  mother's  state 
of  health  has  often  occasioned  me  much  anxiety.  My  own 
health  has  been  indifferent,  but  not  bad.  My  property  has 
remained  at  a  stand,  and  my  political  prospects  have  been  daily 
declining.  On  the  whole,  I  ought  to  conclude  the  year  with 
the  sincerest  gratitude  to  Heaven  for  the  blessings  with  which 
I  have  been  indulged. 

January  2d,  1805.  This  was  the  day  appointed  for  the 
appearance  of  Judge  Chase  to  answer  the  articles  of  impeach- 
ment against  him.  At  twelve  o'clock  the  Senate  went  from  the 
committee  room  into  their  hall,  which  has  been  prepared  for 
the  occasion.  Mr.  Chase  was  called,  and  appeared.  He  requested 
and  obtained  the  permission  of  a  seat,  upon  which  he  read  a 
paper  of  some  length,  requesting  time  to  prepare  his  answer, 
and  for  trial,  until  the  first  day  of  the  next  session.  He  was 
interrupted  several  times  by  the  Vice-President,  but  proceeded 
and  read  his  paper  through.  The  Vice-President  then  required 
him  to  reduce  his  request  to  writing  in  the  form  of  a  motion, 
which  he  did.  The  Vice-President  informed  him  the  Senate 
would  meet  again  to-morrow,  and  the  Senate  (without  adjourn- 
ment of  the  Court)  returned  to  the  committee  room.  A  debate 
of  four  hours  immediately  ensued  on  the  next  step  to  be  taken. 
Mr.  Giles  was  for  fixing  on  a  day  for  trial,  without  taking  any 
notice  of  Mr.  Chase's  request.  He  repeated  over  again  his 
whole  system  of  impeachments ;  contended  there  was  no  oc- 
casion for  any  answer  or  pleading,  other  than  simply  of  not 
guilty ;  that  we  ought  to  discard  all  precedents  derived  either 
from  the  English  practice  upon  impeachments,  or  from  the  pro- 
ceedings of  our  own  courts  of  justice;  and  that  Mr.  Chase's 
motion  was  no  more  than  a  request  for  another  appearance  day. 
This  theory,  however,  has  got  much    weakened   since    it   is 


tpg  MEMOIRS    OF   JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [January, 

brought  to  the  test.  The  rules  as  reported  by  Mr.  Giles  and 
adopted  by  the  Senate  had  departed  from  the  form  of  proceed- 
ing in  the  case  of  Mr.  Pickering.  The  oath  required  by  the 
Constitution  was  at  that  time  taken  before  any  decision  made  in 
the  cause.  By  Mr.  Giles's  rule  it  was  to  be  taken  only  when 
the  trial  between  the  parties  should  commence.  But  now  that 
a  decision  was  to  be  made,  on  which  the  whole  cause  might 
depend,  the  question  as  to  the  necessity  of  being  under  oath 
was  again  brought  up  ;  and,  after  long  debate,  the  decision  was 
that  the  oath  should  be  taken  to-morrow  morning.  The  other 
points  were  left  undecided. 

3d.  I  attended  some  time  this  morning,  and  examined  some 
books  previous  to  the  meeting  of  the  Senate.  When  they  met, 
Mr.  Bradley  made  a  motion  to  assign  a  day  (in  blank)  to  receive 
the  answer  of  Mr.  Chase.  Mr.  Giles  moved  to  assign  a  day  to 
receive  the  answer  and  proceed  to  trial.  After  a  debate  of  about 
two  hours  on  the  respective  merits  of  these  questions,  the 
Senate  passed  from  the  committee  room  to  their  hall.  The  oath 
was  administered  to  the  President  by  the  Secretary,  and  to  the 
members  by  the  President.  The  questions  were  then  taken  by 
yeas  and  nays  on  striking  out  Mr.  Bradley's  motion — twenty 
yeas,  ten  nays  ;  on  inserting  Mr.  Giles's — twenty-two  yeas,  eight 
nays.  And  then  on  the  order  thus  completed,  twenty-one 
yeas,  nine  nays.  So  the  4th  day  of  February  is  fixed  for  re- 
ceiving the  answer,  and  proceeding  to  trial.  On  this  system 
the  trial  will  be  on  the  articles  alone,  and  no  regard  paid  to  the 
answer,  whatever  it  may  be  ;  as  was  done  in  England  in  the 
case  of  Lord  Strafford.  Mr.  Giles  himself  seems  ashamed  of 
the  virulence  with  which  he  pursues  the  Judge;  for  after  he 
had  made  his  motion  in  the  committee  room,  and  it  had  been 
two  hours  discussed,  just  before  we  went  into  the  hall,  I  heard 
him  ask  Mr.  Israel  Smith  to  make  it  there,  saying  he  did  not 
like  to  make  it  himself.  Smith,  however,  declined,  and  Giles 
made  it. 

4th.  I  met  Mr.  Smith  of  Maryland,  and  Mr.  Giles,  this  morn- 
ing, on  the  Georgetown  Dam  bill.  Mr.  Giles  again  referred  to 
a  compact  between  the  States  of  Virginia  and  Maryland,  about 
which  there  was  much  debate  when  this  bill  was  considered  in 


iSos.]  THE   SENATE    OF  THE    UNITED  STATES.  329 

the  House  of  Representatives.  I  stated  my  reasons  for  believ- 
ing that  this  article  of  the  compact  was  null  and  void  ab  initio, 
as  violating  the  Articles  of  Confederation ;  and  if  not  so,  yet 
absolutely  annulled  by  the  present  Constitution  of  the  United 
States.  The  article  of  the  Confederation  to  which  I  referred, 
neither  of  these  gentlemen  recollected ;  nor  was  it  mentioned 
during  the  whole  debate  in  the  House.  I  am  afraid  there  is 
some  solution  to  this  objection  of  which  I  am  not  aware.  It 
certainly  took  both  my  colleagues  by  surprise — so  completely 
that  they  had  no  plausible  answer  to  give  it.  I  know  that  by 
not  mentioning  it  at  all  in  committee,  but  reserving  it  for  the 
fire  of  debate  on  the  report,  it  would  have  been  more  decisive; 
but  on  full  deliberation  I  thought  this  mode  of  proceeding 
would  not  be  fair;  that  in  honorable  dealing  I  ought  to  give 
them  the  ground  I  mean  to  take,  though  it  will  give  them  an 
opportunity  to  be  prepared  for  it,  and  even  of  taking  undue 
advantages  to  refute  it  if  they  can.  If  Giles  has  or  can  find  a 
good  reply  to  my  objection  against  the  compact,  he  will  use  me 
as  candidly  as  I  have  him,  and  mention  it  in  committee.  If  he 
can  hunt  up  nothing  but  quibbles  to  support  him,  it  is  of  no 
great  consequence  whether  he  opens  the  box  of  them  in  com- 
mittee or  in  the  House.  The  bill  itself  is  of  very  little  impor- 
tance; but  this  compact  has  drawn  some  important  constitutional 
questions  into  the  discussion.  As  the  grounds  upon  which  I 
hold  its  nullity  have  been  taken  by  no  other  person,  and  as  they 
are,  in  my  opinion,  much  stronger  than  any  that  were  taken  in 
the  House,  I  am  afraid  that  the  pride  of  opinion  and  a  paltry 
vanity  mingles  itself  with  my  judgment  on  this  occasion.  I 
know  how  often  this  happens  to  me ;  and  it  often  ends  in  mor- 
tifications, as  is  most  just.  The  committee  are  to  meet  again 
to-morrow. 

In  Senate,  various  reports  were  made,  and  many  bills  at 
the  second  reading  committed.  As  our  committees  are  all 
chosen  by  ballot,  the  influence  and  weight  of  a  member  can 
be  very  well  measured  by  the  number  and  importance  of  those 
upon  which  he  is  placed.  In  this  respect  I  have  no  excitements 
of  vanity.  But,  as  much  of  the  labor  of  business  is  transacted 
in  committees,  an  exemption  from  those  which  are  important 


33o  MEMOIRS    OF   JOHN   QUINCY  ADAMS.  [January, 

is  also  an  exemption  from  toil,  and  leaves  proportionable 
leisure.  I  reported  the  Invalid  bill  without  amendment;  that 
is,  both  my  associates  in  the  committee  are  against  it  on  prin- 
ciple.    A  committee  was  raised  on  the  Louisiana  Memorial.- 

9th.  I  called  this  morning  upon  Mrs.  Hazen,  according  to 
her  request.  Her  object  was  to  urge  me  to  vote  for  the  bill  for 
her  relief,  as  it  came  from  the  House  of  Representatives.  And 
her  appeal  to  the  sentiments  of  humanity  was  very  strong;  but 
she  could  give  me  no  substantial  apology  for  departing  from 
the  straight  path,  which  in  this  case  absolute  justice  requires. 
She  says  her  bread  depends  upon  it.  I  wish  it  did  not ;  for  I 
cannot  give  her  the  property  of  another,  even  to  supply  her 
with  bread.  The  bill  was  again  debated  the  greatest  part  of 
this  morning,  and  finally  committed  to  a  new  select  committee; 
as  the  debate  proceeds,  opinions  appear  to  diverge  more  and 
more  ;  so  that  I  think  it  doubtful  whether  the  bill  will  pass  in 
Senate  at  all. 

nth.  The  debate  in  Senate  on  the  amendment  proposed 
($10,000  bonds  additional  to  value  of  ship)  to  the  Armed  Vessel 
bill *  was  resumed,  and  continued  until  past  three  o'clock.  The 
question  on  the  amendment  was  then  taken  by  yeas  and  nays — 
yeas  twelve,  nays  thirteen. 

Dined  at  the  President's,  with  my  wife.  General  Smith  and 
his  brother,  of  the  navy,2  Mr.  William  Smith,  formerly  a  mem- 
ber of  Congress,  from  Baltimore,  Mr.  Williams  and  his  two 
daughters,  Mrs.  Hall  and  Mrs.  Hewes,  were  there.  So  was  the 
Vice-President.  The  President  appeared  to  have  his  mind  ab- 
sorbed by  some  other  object,  for  he  was  less  attentive  to  his 
company  than  usual.  His  itch  for  telling  prodigies,  however, 
is  unabated.  Speaking  of  the  cold,  he  said  he  had  seen  Fahren- 
heit's thermometer,  in  Paris,  at  twenty  degrees  below  zero ; 
and  that,  not  for  a  single  day,  but  that  for  six  weeks  together  it 
stood  thereabouts.  "  Never  once  in  the  whole  time,"  said  he, 
"so  high  as  zero,  which  is  fifty  degrees  below  the  freezing  point." 
These  were  his  own  words.     He  knows  better  than  all  this ; 

1  "  An  act  to  regulate  the  clearance  of  armed  merchant  vessels." 

2  Robert  Smith,  Secretary  of  the  Navy,  afterwards  Secretary  of  State  under  Mr. 
Ma'lison. 


iSos.]  THE   SENATE    OF  THE    UNITED   STATES.  ^^l 

but  he  loves  to  excite  wonder.  Fahrenheit's  thermometer 
never  since  Mr.  Jefferson  existed  was  at  twenty  degrees  below 
zero  in  Paris.  It  was  never  for  six  weeks  together  so  low  as 
twenty  degrees  above  zero.  Nor  is  Fahrenheit's  zero  fifty  degrees 
below  the  freezing  point.  I  asked  him  upon  what  foundation 
he  had,  in  his  Notes  on  Virginia,  spoken  of  the  river  Poto- 
mac as  common  to  Virginia  and  Maryland.  He  said  that  it 
was  on  the  compact  between  the  two  States — that  the  charter 
of  Maryland  had  included  the  bed  of  the  river,  but  the  com- 
pact had  made  it  common.  It  is  singular,  however,  if  this  be 
the  case,  that  among  the  vouchers  expressly  given  in  the 
book  this  compact  is  not  at  all  mentioned,  though  a  compact 
with  Pennsylvania  is.  He  added,  however,  that  as  to  all  the 
arguments  inferred  from  these  facts  in  the  debate  of  the  House 
of  Representatives  (alluding  to  Mr.  J.  Randolph's  arguments),1 
he  considered  them  as  mere  metaphysical  subtleties,  and  that 
they  ought  to  have  no  weight.  This  conversation  was  inter- 
rupted by  the  entrance  of  General  Turreau2  and  Captain  Marin; 
immediately  after  which  we  took  leave. 

15th.  Mr.  Anderson  was  chosen  President  pro  tern.;  and  the 
usual  orders  passed  to  notify  the  House  of  Representatives,  and 
the  President,  of  the  choice.  Mr.  Bayard  appeared  and  took  his 
seat.  The  Georgetown  Dam  bill  was  debated ;  and  both  the 
amendments  proposed  by  Mr.  Giles  and  reported  by  the  com- 
mittee were  rejected.  The  bill  passed  to  the  third  reading. 
Upon  the  first  amendment,  respecting  the  pretended  compact 
between  Maryland  and  Virginia,  I  took  a  large  part  in  the  debate, 
and  indeed  an  exclusive  one  on  the  side  I  advocated,  as  to  the 
question  of  right.  There  were  not  more  than  seven  members 
(I  think  not  more  than  six)  who  rose  in  favor  of  the  amend- 
ment. On  this  occasion,  as  on  almost  every  other,  I  felt  most 
sensibly  my  deficiency  as  an  extemporaneous  speaker.  In 
tracing  this  deficiency  to  its  source,  I  find  it  arising  from  a 
cause  that  is  irreparable.      No  efforts,  no  application  on  my 

1  The  debate  in  the  House  on  the  28th  of  November  previous,  when  Mr.  Ran- 
dolph had  made  his  remarks,  turned  upon  the  jurisdiction  over  the  Potomac  River, 
which  separated  Virginia  from  Maryland.    See  Benton's  Abridgment,  vol.  iii.  p.  290. 

2  At  that  time  Minister  from  the  French  Republic. 


332  MEMOIRS    OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [January, 

part,  can  ever  remove  it.  It  is  slowness  of  comprehension — an 
incapacity  to  grasp  the  whole  compass  of  a  subject  in  the  mind 
at  once  with  such  an  arrangement  as  leaves  a  proper  impres- 
sion of  the  detail — an  incapacity  to  form  ideas  properly  pre- 
cise and  definite  with  the  rapidity  necessary  to  give  them 
uninterrupted  utterance.  My  manner,  therefore,  is  slow,  hesi- 
tating, and  often  much  confused.  Sometimes,  from  inability  to 
furnish  the  words  to  finish  a  thought  commenced,  I  begin  a 
sentence  with  propriety  and  end  it  with  nonsense.  Sometimes, 
after  carrying  through  an  idea  of  peculiar  force  to  its  last  stage, 
the  want  of  a  proper  word  at  close  drives  me  to  use  one  which 
throws  the  whole  into  a  burlesque.  And  sometimes  the  most 
important  details  of  argument  escape  my  mind  at  the  moment 
when  I  want  them,  though  ever  ready  to  present  them  before 
and  after.  Hence  I  never  know  when  I  have  finished  any  given 
subdivision  of  my  subject.  And  hence,  in  making  the  transition 
from  one  part  of  it  to  the  other,  I  am  often  compelled  to  take  a 
minute  or  two  for  recollection,  which  leaves  a  chasm  of  silence 
always  disagreeable  to  the  hearers.  I  must,  therefore,  never 
flatter  myself  with  the  hope  of  oratorical  distinction.  At  the 
same  time,  it  is  possible  that,  by  continual  exertions,  application, 
and  self-censure,  part  of  the  ill  effect  of  these  infirmities  maybe 
remedied.  One  rule  for  this  purpose  will  be,  to  take  part  in  the 
debate  only  at  its  late  stages,  and  after  the  ground  has  been 
travelled  over  by  others ;  to  take  minutes  of  the  strongest 
points  assumed  by  the  opponent ;  and  to  methodize  them  by 
very  short  notes  before  commencing  a  reply.  Another  is,  at- 
tentively to  observe  the  manner  of  the  best  speakers — to  mark 
whether  they  are  not  occasionally  struggling  with  some  of  the 
same  difficulties  which  I  so  often  experience,  and  how  they 
get  over  them.  A  third  is,  to  take  great  pains  to  understand 
the  subject  upon  which  I  speak.  If  these  endeavors  will  never 
suffice  to  give  me  the  palm  of  eloquence,  they  will  at  least 
make  me  better  qualified  to  be  useful  in  the  station  where  I  am 
placed. 

17th.  The  bill  for  the  relief  of  Charlotte  Hazen  passed,  ac- 
cording to  the  report  of  the  last  committee;  that  is,  giving  her 
a  pension  of  two  hundred  dollars  a  year  for  life.     The  history 


1805.]  THE   SENATE    OF   THE    UNITED   STATES.  333 

and  progress  of  this  bill  furnishes  a  striking  example  of  the 
motives  and  means  by  which  legislative  assemblies  are  gov- 
erned. At  the  beginning  of  our  Revolutionary  War,  General 
Hazen,  this  lady's  husband,  was  residing  in  Canada,  and  on 
half- pay  as  a  lieutenant  in  the  British  service.  Taking  the 
American  side  of  the  question,  he  was,  on  the  22d  of  January, 
1776,  appointed  by  Congress  Colonel  of  a  Canadian  regiment  to 
be  raised  in  the  service  of  the  Union ;  and  a  resolution  passed 
the  same  day  that  the  United  Colonies  would  indemnify  Colonel 
Hazen  for  any  loss  of  half-pay  he  might  sustain  in  consequence 
of  his  entering  into  their  service.  In  1781  he  was  struck  off 
from  the  British  half-pay  list ;  but  though  in  his  lifetime  he  re- 
peatedly presented  his  claim  for  indemnity,  it  was  never  settled, 
for  want  of  proof  on  his  part  to  establish  the  fact.  In  February, 
1803,  he  died.  And  since  his  death  his  executors,  Moses 
White  and  Mrs.  Hazen,  have  petitioned  for  this  indemnity. 
Thus  stands  the  open  and  ostensible  demand.  But  Mrs.  Hazen, 
the  widow,  is  here  in  person  to  pursue  the  claim.  Moses  White, 
the  co-executor,  is  not  here.  General  Hazen's  estate  is  so 
deeply  indebted  to  Moses  White,  that  if  the  grant  were  made 
conformably  to  the  claim  it  would  be  absorbed  for  the  payment 
of  that  debt.  Mrs.  Hazen  sends  for  individual  members  of 
Congress,  requesting  them  to  call  and  see  her  at  her  lodgings. 
There  she  represents  herself  as  in  great  distress,  dependent 
upon  this  grant  alone  for  subsistence,  and  entreats  that  the 
grant  may  be  to  her,  to  the  exclusion  of  her  co-executor  and 
of  all  creditors  of  her  husband.  This  manceuvre  partially  suc- 
ceeded in  the  House  of  Representatives,  where  the  bill  was 
founded  on  a  formal  admission  of  the  justice  of  the  claim  and 
yet  directed  that  it  should  be  paid  exclusively  to  her  use. 
When  it  came  into  the  Senate  it  was  opposed  on  various 
grounds.  The  first  select  committee  reported  a  grant  to  her 
of  a  sum  of  money,  about  two  thousand  dollars.  This  was 
rejected.  Mr.  Moore,  of  Virginia,  and  Mr.  Franklin,  of  North 
Carolina,  declared  themselves  of  opinion  that  the  claim  was  a 
just  one,  but  that  Congress  could  not  interfere  with  the  course 
of  the  law  to  divert  the  money  from  its  proper  destination. 
Being  of  the  same  opinion,  I  moved  to  substitute  the  words 


334  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [January, 

legal  representatives  instead  of  Charlotte  Hazen.  After  a  long 
debate  upon  this,  the  whole  was  committed  to  a  second  select 
committee,  of  which  Mr.  Franklin  was  a  member,  and  which 
reported  a  pension  to  Charlotte  Hazen,  without  any  reference 
to  the  claim  of  the  executors.  Mr.  Maclay,  the  chairman  of 
the  committee,  said  their  object  had  been  to  avoid  any  opinion 
on  the  validity  of  this  claim.  Mr.  Franklin  said  he  considered 
it  as  a  virtual  rejection  of  the  claim.  And  thus  the  bill  passed, 
in  spite  of  every  effort  to  amend  or  recommit  it;  both  Mr. 
Franklin  and  Mr.  Moore,  the  members  who  had  at  first  most 
vehemently  opposed  any  diversion  of  the  grant  from  its  legal 
course  of  payment,  now  voting  for  it.  The  pension  is  of  two 
hundred  dollars,  to  commence  from  1st  January,  1805.  ^  is  one 
of  many  instances  I  have  witnessed  how  impossible  it  is  to  hold 
a  legislative  assembly  to  any  correct  principle  for  the  settle- 
ment of  claims.  It  also  proves  how  much  more  powerful  an 
appeal  to  the  humanity  and  benevolence  of  such  an  assembly  is 
than  a  call  to  their  justice.  A  third  point  demonstrated  by  this 
transaction  is,  the  effect  of  a  petitioner's  presence,  and  intrigue, 
in  operating  upon  public  measures.  Had  Moses  White,  the 
co-executor,  been  here,  I  do  not  believe  the  grant  would  have 
been  as  it  now  stands.  A  debate  took  place  on  a  bill  concern- 
ing certain  roads,  but  was  not  completed.  A  question  arose 
upon  an  amendment  proposed  by  Mr.  Franklin.  The  ayes  were 
twelve,  the  noes  eleven.  Mr.  Anderson,  the  President  pro  tern., 
was  called  upon  to  vote,  but  declined,  on  a  doubt  as  to  his 
right,  and  declared  the  amendment  carried.  This  gave  rise  to  a 
question  of  order  as  to  the  right  of  a  President  pro  tern,  to  vote 
in  other  cases  than  that  of  an  equal  division.  Mr.  Anderson 
declared  that,  had  he  voted,  it  would  have  been  in  the  negative; 
in  which  case  Mr.  Franklin's  amendment  would  not  have  been 
carried.  After  some  discussion,  a  member  of  the  majority 
moved  a  reconsideration,  for  another  chance  to  try  the  question, 
and  it  was  agreed  to. 

1 8th.  In  Senate.  The  House  agreed  to  the  bill,  as  it  passed 
the  Senate  yesterday,  with  an  amendment  commencing  the  pen- 
sion at  the  death  of  General  Hazen,  in  February,  1803.  To  this 
the  Senate  agreed,  and  thus  the  bill  has  passed.     The  bill  con- 


1805.]  THE   SENATE    OF  THE    UNITED   STATES.  335 

cerning  certain  roads  was  again  taken  up,  and  Mr.  Franklin's 
amendment  again  debated.  This  debate  disclosed  an  attempt, 
on  the  part  of  those  who  brought  in  and  supported  the  bill, 
which  I  consider  as  no  better  than  a  fraud  upon  the  Union.  By 
the  law  of  Congress  authorizing  the  North  Western  Territory 
to  form  itself  into  a  State,  Congress  made  several  propositions  to 
the  Legislature  of  that  Territory;  among  which  one  was,  that 
they  should  agree  not  to  tax  the  lands  of  the  United  States, 
which  might  be  sold,  for  five  years  after  their  sale — in  con- 
sideration of  which  the  United  States  would  apply  one-twentieth 
part,  or  five  per  cent,  of  the  net  proceeds  of  the  land  sold,  to- 
wards laying  out  roads  from  the  Atlantic  to  the  State  of  Ohio, 
and  through  the  same.  The  convention  that  formed  the  Ohio 
Constitution  agreed  to  these  proposals  of  Congress  on  con- 
dition of  certain  farther  additions  to  them,  and  a  modification  of 
this  one.  The  modification  was  that  three  per  cent,  of  the  net 
proceeds  of  the  lands  so  offered  to  be  appropriated  by  Congress 
should  be  expended  on  roads  within  the  State  of  Ohio,  and 
under  the  direction  of  its  Legislature.  To  this  modification 
Congress  agreed,  and,  by  a  subsequent  law,  directed  the  pay- 
ment of  this  three  per  cent,  to  the  agents  of  the  Ohio  Legis- 
lature ;  and  it  has  accordingly  been  paid  to  them  ever  since. 
This  then  left  two  per  cent,  of  the  net  proceeds,  as  offered  by 
Congress,  to  be  applied  to  laying  out  roads  from  the  Atlantic 
to  the  State  of  Ohio.  But  in  this  bill,  as  introduced  by  Mr. 
Worthington,  one-twentieth  part  of  the  net  proceeds  was  appro- 
priated to  laying  out  roads  to  the  State  of  Ohio ;  and  that  on 
pretence  that  it  was  already  authorized  by  the  former  law  of 
Congress.  Mr.  Franklin's  amendment  was,  to  strike  out  the 
words  "  one-twentieth  part"  and  insert  " remaining  two  per  cent!' 
This  brought  the  whole  subject  to  the  test  of  examination,  and 
Worthington,  with  his  supporters,  gravely  maintained  that  the 
modification  meant  an  addition  of  three  per  cent.,  and  that  Con- 
gress were  already  bound  to  appropriate  eight  per  cent,  to  the 
roads,  viz.,  one-twentieth  by  the  first  offer,  and  three  per  cent, 
by  the  modification  ;  which,  as  Mr.  Stone,  of  North  Carolina, 
observed  to  me,  was  only  contending  that  a  modification  of  five 
means  eight.     And  it  was  the  merest  accident  in  the  world  that 


336  MEMOIRS    OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [January, 

this  stratagem  did  not  yesterday  succeed.  The  investigation 
this  day  was  more  full,  and  the  questions  were  taken  by  yeas 
and  nays — for  striking  out,  sixteen  yeas,  nine  nays;  for  insert- 
ing, fourteen  yeas,  eleven  nays — Mr.  Anderson  voting  in  the 
negative  on  both.  After  going  through  the  bill,  as  in  the 
House,  Mr.  Franklin  offered  an  amendment,  which  the  Presi- 
dent declared  not  in  order,  but  said  it  might  be  offered  at  the 
third  reading.  Mr.  Dayton  presented  a  petition  for  opening  a 
passage  at  the  rapids  of  the  Ohio,  and  moved  its  reference  to  a 
select  committee.  When  the  ballots  were  returned  there  were 
only  thirteen,  not  making  a  quorum.  The  members  were 
called  in  from  the  lobby,  and  the  President  ordered  a  new  ballot 
— much  against  the  will  of  Mr.  Dayton,  who  thought  the  first 
ballot  good,  for  those  who  had  voted,  and  that  the  other  mem- 
bers coming  in  should  have  added  their  votes  to  those  first 
received.  It  is  surprising  how  these  questions  of  order  are 
multiplied  whenever  a  person  unused  to  preside  takes  the  chair. 
As  we  were  riding  home,  Mr.  Smith  spoke  to  me  concerning 
Mr.  Chase's  impeachment,  against  which  he  voted  at  the  hazard 
of  displeasing  his  party,  which,  he  said,  he  had  effectually  done. 
But  he  added  that  he  did  not  care  for  that,  as  he  had  acted 
conformably  to  his  own  sense  of  duty ;  and  made  several  other 
observations  indicative  of  an  honest  and  independent  mind. 
He  told  me  an  instance  of  a  procedure  by  Mr.  Tucker,  the 
Virginian  judge,  which  he  said  was  no  doubt  legal,  but  which 
was  much  harsher  than  any  thing  charged  against  Judge  Chase. 
2 1  st.  In  Senate  Dr.  Logan  presented  the  petition  of  certain 
Quakers,  requesting  the  interference  of  Congress  as  far  as  they 
have  power  to  check  the  slave  trade,  A  question  was  made, 
whether  the  petition  should  be  received,  and  very  warmly  de- 
bated for  about  three  hours ;  .when  it  was  taken  by  yeas  and 
nays — yeas  nineteen,  nays  nine.  A  motion  of  reference  to  the 
committee  who  have  the  petition  from  Louisiana,  in  favor  of 
the  slave  trade,  before  them — taken  without  yeas  and  nays — 
was  negatived,  fourteen  ayes,  thirteen  nays ;  and  the  President, 
who  has  got  over  his  scruple  against  voting,  by  forming  a  tie, 
prevented  its  passing.  This  same  petition  was  presented  to  the 
House  of  Representatives,  read,  and  referred  to  a  committee 


iSos.]  THE   SENATE    OF   THE    UNITED   STATES.  337 

without  any  objection.  The  reason  for  this  difference  of  treat- 
ment to  the  same  papers  I  take  to  be  because  the  debates  of 
that  House  are  always  published,  and  those  of  the  Senate  very 
seldom  ;  nor  were  there  any  stenographers  this  day  present. 

22d.  The  weather  excessively  cold.  In  Senate,  Mr.  Jackson 
made  a  long  speech  upon  a  Treaty  with  the  Creek  Indians. 
But  there  was  not  much  attention  paid  to  it,  or  to  any  other 
business  this  day  transacted;  most  of  the  members  being  almost 
all  the  day  at  the  firesides  in  the  lobby.  I  was  put  on  a  com- 
mittee on  the  bill  to  amend  the  charter  of  Georgetown.  A  bill 
for  exempting  the  clerks  in  the  executive  departments  from 
militia  duty  was  rejected  at  the  second  reading,  by  the  casting 
vote  of  the  President.  A  bill  declaring  the  assent  of  Congress 
to  an  Act  of  the  State  of  North  Carolina  was  also  debated  in 
quasi  committee.  It  is  a  provision  for  the  maintenance  of 
foreign  seamen  arriving  in  the  port  of  Wilmington  and  being 
sick  there.  I  objected  against  this  bill  as  forming  a  precedent 
for  State  legislation  upon  a  subject  peculiarly  belonging  to  the 
regulation  of  commerce,  and  therefore  exclusively  within  the 
powers  of  Congress.  My  scruples  did  not  appear  to  make 
much  impression.  The  bill  was,  however,  finally  recommitted. 
Mr.  Otis  told  me  that  Mr.  Early,  one  of  the  managers  on  the 
impeachment  of  Judge  Chase,  had  applied  to  him,  in  private 
conversation,  for  the  names  of  the  witnesses  subpoenaed  by  Mr. 
Chase ;  and  asked  me  whether  there  would  be  any  impropriety 
in  telling  him.  I  told  him  I  thought  the  safest  way  for  him  in 
any  such  case  of  application  would  be  to  refer  to  the  Senate  for 
an  order  on  the  subject. 

24th.  In  Senate,  a  variety  of  business  was  transacted.  The 
Clearance  bill  postponed  on  account  of  Mr.  Tracy's  absence ; 
he  having  a  motion  relating  to  it  which  he  intends  to  propose. 
My  motion  for  an  order  to  print  the  Impeachment  Journals  was 
taken  up,  and  finally  committed  to  Mr.  Giles,  Mr.  Baldwin,  and 
myself.  It  was  opposed  by  Mr.  Bayard — a  quarter  from  which 
I  did  not  expect  opposition.  The  amendments  reported  by  the 
committee  to  the  Articles  of  War  were  taken  up;  Mr.  Bayard 
opposed  one  of  them,  and  I  objected  against  another.     I  took 

no  part  in  the  discussion  on  the  article  opposed  by  him;  but 
vol.  1. — 22 


^g  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [January, 

he  supported  the  article  reported  by  the  committee  against  my 
objection.  From  these  circumstances  I  conclude  I  shall  often 
find  myself  in  opposition  with  him,  which  increases  consider- 
ably the  difficulties  of  my  situation,  and  requires  redoubled 
efforts,  both  of  application  and  of  circumspection,  properly  to 
steer  my  course. 

25th.  The  committee  on  the  bill  to  amend  the  charter  of 
Georgetown  met  this  morning ;  and  a  committee  from  the  cor- 
poration came  before  them,.with  some  amendments  which  they 
proposed  introducing  into  the  bill.  We  had  only  time  to  read 
over  the  bill,  which  is  long,  and  the  amendments,  before  the 
Senate  met.  The  bill  containing  the  Articles  of  War  was  de- 
bated. It  is  a  very  long  bill,  and  a  very  strong  disposition 
appeared  to  carry  it  through  all  its  stages  without  reading  it 
at  all.  It  had  already  passed  the  House  of  Representatives  in 
this  manner.  Its  defects  of  various  kinds  were  numerous,  and 
among  the  most  conspicuous  was  a  continual  series  of  the 
most  barbarous  English  that  ever  crept  through  the  bars  of 
legislation.  In  many  instances  the  articles  prescribing  oaths, 
and  even  penalties  of  death,  were  so  loosely  and  indistinctly 
expressed  as  to  be  scarcely  intelligible,  or  liable  to  double  and 
treble  equivocation.  Besides  this,  there  were  many  variations 
from  the  old  Articles,  which  I  did  not  approve.  I  did  therefore, 
under  the  conviction  of  its  necessity,  insist  upon  the  reading  of 
the  bill  through  by  paragraphs.  The  President,  the  Senate,  and 
most  particularly  the  chairman  of  the  select  committee  to  whom 
the  bill  was  before  referred,  manifested  great  impatience  at  this. 
I  expected  as  much  before  I  determined  upon  my  course  on 
this  occasion,  and  was  therefore  prepared  to  meet  all  this  im- 
patience with  patient  perseverance.  I  offered  many  amend- 
ments which  merely  went  to  make  the  Articles  read  in  gram- 
matical English  and  common  sense.  Most  of  these  were 
adopted.  Other  amendments,  to  substantial  parts  of  the  Arti- 
cles, I  also  proposed — some  few  of  which,  but  very  few,  were 
carried.  Other  members,  particularly  Mr.  White  and  Mr. 
Wright,  offered  various  amendments,  which  were  as  unwillingly 
received  as  mine.  At  near  four  o'clock,  the  Senate  had  gone 
through  only  thirty-five  of  forty-three  Articles.     A  motion  for 


1805.]  THE  SENATE    OF   THE    UNITED   STATES.  339 

adjournment  was  made  and  rejected.  General  Jackson  then 
moved  to  recommit  the  bill  to  a  select  committee,  which  was 
agreed  to.  It  was  proposed  to  refer  it  to  the  former  commit- 
tee, of  which  he  was  chairman.  But  this  he  opposed,  saying 
that  committee  had  already  offered  all  the  amendments  they 
thought  necessary  to  the  bill,  and  he  hoped  it  would  be  com- 
mitted to  some  of  the  gentlemen  who  offered  so  many  amend- 
ments of  who  and  such  and  as — alluding  to  me.  Accordingly, 
the  bill  was  recommitted  to  me,  with  Mr.  Wright  and  Mr. 
White ;  immediately  after  which  the  Senate  adjourned  until 
to-morrow.  Mr.  Jefferson,  in  his  Manual,  says  it  is  generally 
best  not  to  contend  against  the  impatience  of  the  House,  as  it 
is  seldom  shown  without  reason.  I  believe  this  to  be  good  ad- 
vice. Yet  I  should  have  been  ashamed  hereafter  to  read  in  the 
statute  books  a  law  upon  so  important  a  subject,  so  grossly 
and  outrageously  defective  and  blundering  in  every  part  of  its 
composition  as  this,  with  the  consciousness  that  I  had  been  a 
member  of  the  legislature  which  enacted  it.  It  was  impossible 
to  attempt  any  amendment  without  raising  General  Jackson's 
temper.  For  he,  having  been  chairman  of  the  former  com- 
mittee, naturally  concluded  that  it  had  come  from  their  hands 
with  the  last  polish  of  perfection,  and  would  of  course  feel 
irritation  at  any  presumption  of  improving  it  further.  It  was 
impossible  to  move  amendments  on  many  articles  in  a  bill  so 
long  without  raising  impatience  in  the  Senate ;  and  there  was 
of  course  no  alternative  but  to  encounter  this  tempest,  or  suffer 
the  bill  to  pass  the  mockery  of  legislative  deliberation  and  go 
into  the  world  with  all  its  imperfections  on  its  head.  I  know 
not  how  I  shall  get  through.  But  I  think  it  not  yet  time  to 
abandon  my  purpose. 

28th.  On  my  way  to  the  Capitol  this  morning,  I  called  on 
the  Secretary  at  War,1  to  make  some  enquiries  of  him  respect- 
ing the  new  Articles  of  War.  He  gave  me  explanations  re- 
specting some  of  the  Articles,  which  were  satisfactory.  Others 
remained  without  explanation.  He  did  not  appear  himself  to 
know  the  object  of  some  new  regulations  introduced  into  the 
bill.     He  said  he  would  look  it  over  again,  and  give  me  infor- 

1  At  this  time  General  Henry  Dearborn,  of  Massachusetts. 


340  MEMOIRS    OF   JOHN   QUINCY  ADAMS.  [January, 

mation  shortly.  In  Senate,  a  bill  to  indemnify  Captain  A.  Mur- 
ray passed  to  the  third  reading,  after  some  debating,  with  scarce 
any  difference  of  opinion  as  to  the  merits  of  the  bill  itself.  The 
Clearance  bill  was  called  up,  in  the  new  form  which  General 
Smith's  reported  amendments  have  given  it.  Mr.  Tracy  offered 
a  resolution  asking  the  President  for  papers  and  information. 
Mr.  Giles  at  first  faintly  opposed  it,  wishing  that  it  might  lie 
over  until  to-morrow.  His  object  was  to  determine  on  a  com- 
pliance or  refusal  out  of  doors.  But  Mr.  Tracy  insisted  on  an 
immediate  decision,  saying  he  had  rather  the  gentleman  should 
settle  it  here  (in  Senate)  than  elsewhere.  Giles  acquiesced. 
Mr.  Wright  alone,  who  insists  that  this  is  a  subject  of  negotia- 
tion and  not  for  legislation,  and  that  he  wants  no  papers  or  in- 
formation, being  determined  to  vote  against  any  law  at  all  in 
the  case,  opposed  the  call  for  papers,  and  took  the  yeas  and 
nays,  on  which  he  stood  alone  in  the  negative  against  thirty-one 
ayes.  Mr.  Giles  and  Mr.  Tracy  were  appointed  the  committee 
to  wait  on  the  President  with  the  resolution. 

29th.  A  Treaty  with  the  Creek  Indians  was  debated  until 
past  four  o'clock,  without  coming  to  any  decision.  It  is  a  diffi- 
cult thing  to  determine  whether  it  ought  to  be  ratified  or  not. 
My  inclination  is  in  its  favor.  I  did  not  present  the  report  on 
the  Georgetown  Charter  bill,  because,  after  drawing  it  up,  I 
received  a  letter  from  Mr.  Plater,  a  member  of  the  House  of 
Representatives,  which  made  further  enquiry  upon  the  subject 
necessary.  There  was  a  nomination  of  a  Consul  this  day, 
negatived  —  the  first  instance  since  I  have  been  in  the  Senate; 
and  it  was  done  on  General  Smith's  declaring  that  he  knew  the 
man,  and  that  he  was  every  way  unfit  for  the  office.  He  com- 
plained of  the  appointments  of  our  Consuls  abroad  in  general, 
and  appeared  dissatisfied  that  this  appointment  had  been  made 
without  consulting  him.1 

30th.  A  petition  and  remonstrance  was  presented  from  cer- 
tain militia  officers  in  the  State  of  Tennessee,  complaining  of 
certain  proceedings  against  a  Colonel  Butler  for  his  resistance 
to  an  order  of  General  Wilkinson  for  cropping  the  hair  of  his 

1  William  Walton,  as  commercial  agent  at  Santo  Domingo.  He  was  from  Mary- 
land; hence  the  complaint  of  General  Smith. 


iSo5-]  THE   SENATE    OF  THE    UNITED   STATES.  ^x 

officers;  and  praying  that  Congress  would  make  some  regula- 
tion to  exempt  the  militia  from  such  an  order.  A  motion  was 
made  for  committing  this  petition  to  the  committee  who  have 
the  Articles  of  War  under  consideration.  Another  motion, 
that  the  petitioners  have  leave  to  withdraw  their  petition.  These 
motions  were  debated  until  half-past  four  p.m.,  when  the  ques- 
tion to  commit  was  taken  by  yeas  and  nays,  and  carried — sixteen 
yeas,  fifteen  nays.  This  is  the  second  attempt  within  a  fort- 
night to  turn  petitions  out  of  doors,  without  consideration ; 
and  a  second  whole  day's  debate  on  points  which  ought  not 
to  have  occupied  five  minutes  of  time.  Mr.  Bayard  made  two 
very  eloquent  speeches  this  day.  I  dined  at  Mr.  Taylor's  with 
a  company  of  about  twenty  gentlemen.  Several  members  of 
both  Houses  of  Congress  and  of  both  parties  were  of  the  num- 
ber. Mr.  Dana  told  Mr.  Taylor  he  was  like  the  sun,  and  shone 
alike  on  the  evil  and  the  good.  I  told  him  the  company  would 
probably  all  assent  to  that.  I  played  two  rubbers  of  whist 
with  General  Dayton,  Mr.  Jackson,  of  Virginia,1  and  Mr.  Cutts. 
Jackson  spoke  to  me  slightingly  both  of  Mr.  John  Randolph 
and  of  Mr.  Nicholson.  I  had  some  conversation  with  Mr. 
Madison ;  and  enquired  of  him  whether  the  Treaty  with 
Great  Britain  which  we  conditionally  ratified  last  winter  had 
been  ratified  by  the  British  Government.  He  told  me  it  had 
not.  He  appeared  also  to  be  very  much  dissatisfied  with  the 
call  for  papers  on  the  Clearance  bill,  and  descanted  largely 
on  the  danger  and  inconvenience  to  the  Executive  arising  from 
such  a  call.  Yet  in  the  year  1795,  he,  as  a  member  of  the 
House  of  Representatives,  voted  for  a  much  more  unqualified 
and  manifestly  inconvenient  call  of  the  same  kind,  in  the  case 
of  Mr.  Jay's  Treaty.  Thus  it  is  that  the  views  and  the  language 
of  politicians  change  with  times  and  situations.  Giles  and  S. 
Smith  voted  for  the  call  on  this  occasion  against  their  inclina- 
tions, and  only  because  they  were  ashamed  to  stand  recorded 
by  their  present  votes  in  array  against  their  former  vote.  And 
thus  it  is  that  politicians  shackle  themselves  by  a  pretended 

1  John  G.  Jackson  served  in  the  Fourth,  the  Sixth,  Seventh,  Eighth,  Ninth,  Tenth, 
Twelfth,  and  Thirteenth  Congresses,  but  seems  to  have  left  little  to  be  remembered 
of  him. 


o42  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [February, 

adherence  to  opinions  after  they  have  renounced  them.  A 
candid  recantation  would  be  more  honorable,  but  more  morti- 
fying to  self-love.  Sam.  Smith  himself  told  me  that  he  could 
not  vote  against  the  call  now,  because  he  knew  his  former  vote 
could  be  produced  against  him. 

31st.  The  Committee  on  the  Articles  of  War  met  and  made  a 
little  progress.  General  Wilkinson  came  and  offered  an  Article 
ready  drawn  to  exempt  the  militia  from  the  rules  of  uniform. 
In  Senate,  Mr.  Gaillard,  the  Senator  from  South  Carolina, 
appointed  instead  of  Mr.  Butler,  took  his  seat ;  and  for  the  first 
time  since  I  have  been  in  Congress  the  whole  Senate  was 
assembled — the  Vice-President  only  being  absent.  He  is, 
however,  returned  to  the  city.  The  Treaty  with  the  Creek 
Indians  was  again  taken  up,  and  debated  until  half-past  four, 
without  coming  to  a  decision. 

February  1st.  I  attended  early  this  morning  at  the  Capitol. 
In  Senate,  Mr.  Giles's  new  bill  for  the  government  of  Louisiana 
was  debated  at  the  second  reading  and  postponed.  The  Treaty 
with  the  Creeks  was  taken  up,  and  I  expressed  my  opinion  in 
favor  of  its  ratification.  This  opinion,  I  believe,  surprised 
almost  every  member  of  the  Senate,  and  dissatisfied  almost 
all.  It  is  a  sincere  and  honest,  though  not  perhaps  a  prudent, 
opinion.  Mr.  Bradley,  who  has  heretofore  been  warm  in  favor 
of  the  ratification,  appears  to  shiver  in  the  wind.  He  offered 
this  day  an  amendment  equivalent  to  a  conditional  ratification, 
and  intimated  that  he  would  not  vote  for  the  Treaty  without  it. 
Adjourned  without  taking  the  question.  After  Senate  adjourned 
I  sat  some  time  with  Mr.  Giles,  waiting  for  General  Dayton, 
with  whom  I  had  agreed  to  go  to  General  Turreau  the  French 
Minister's,  where  we  all  were  to  dine;  and  Mr.  Giles  gave  me 
his  opinions  very  freely  on  various  subjects  of  a  public  nature; 
with  an  evident  view  to  draw  from  me  my  opinions.  I  hope 
I  was  sufficiently  upon  my  guard.  He  talked  about  his  own 
Louisiana  bill,  and  disapproved  of  Mr.  Randolph's  report  to 
the  House  of  Representatives,  which  he  said  was  a  perfect 
transcript  of  Randolph's  own  character.  It  began  by  setting 
the  claims  of  the  Louisianians  at  defiance,  and  concluded  with 
a  proposal  to  give  them  more  than  they  asked.     Mr.  Randolph 


1805.]  THE   SENATE    OF  THE    UNITED   STATES.  343 

was  undoubtedly  a  man  of  very  correct  theories ;  but  for  his 
part  he  wished  above  all  things  to  be  in  matters  of  government 
a  man  of  practice.  From  this  subject  he  passed  to  that  of  the 
Georgia  Land  claims,  which  for  some  days  have  been  debated 
with  great  heat  and  violence  in  the  House  of  Representatives, 
and  are  not  yet  decided.  In  this  case  his  theory  and  his  prac- 
tice agree  entirely  with  those  of  Mr.  Randolph — vehemently 
opposed  to  the  claims,  and  urging  against  them  suspicions, 
jealousies,  and  menaces  instead  of  arguments.  He  said  if  those 
claims  were  not  totally  and  forever  rejected,  Congress  would 
be  bribed  into  the  sale  of  the  United  States  lands,  as  the 
Georgia  Legislature  was  to  that  sale;  that  nothing  since  the 
Government  existed  had  so  deeply  affected  him  as  this  subject ; 
that  the  character  of  the  Government  itself  was  staked  upon 
its  event.  In  the  State  of  Virginia  there  was  but  one  voice  of 
indignation  relating  to  it ;  that  not  a  man  from  that  State, 
who  should  give  any  countenance  to  the  proposed  compromise, 
could  obtain  an  election  after  it.  Mr.  Jefferson  himself  would 
lose  an  election  in  Virginia  if  he  was  known  to  favor  it.  And 
there  was  a  gentleman  in  the  House  who  had  voted  for  the 
resolution,  and  who  certainly  would  lose  his  election  by  it.  (I 
understood  him  to  mean  Mr.  Jackson,  who  married  Mr.  Madison's 
wife's  sister.)  He  then  proceeded  to  speak  with  much  severity 
of  Mr.  Granger,  the  Postmaster-General — intimated  strong  sus- 
picions that  he  had  bribed  members  of  Congress  to  support 
him  in  these  claims.  He  said  by  the  list  of  the  contracts  for 
carrying  the  mail  it  appeared  that  several  members  of  Con- 
gress had  contracted  for  that  purpose — Matthew  Lyon  to  the 
amount  of  several  thousand  dollars ;  a  Mr.  Claiborne,  a  mem- 
ber from  Virginia,  a  man  of  ruined  fortune  and  habitual  intoxi- 
cation, was  another ;  that  the  Constitution  forbids  any  member 
of  Congress  from  holding  any  office  of  honor  or  profit  under 
the  United  States  ;  that  the  contract  to  carry  the  mail  was 
not  indeed  an  office  of  honor,  but  to  such  men  as  Lyon  and 
Claiborne  it  must  be  considered  as  an  office  of  profit,  for  that 
they  could  have  made  the  contracts  with  no  other  view  than 
to  profit;  that,  for  his  part,  he  never  trusted  a  man  who  had 
nothing  but   professions    to    support  him ;    that  Mr.  Granger 


saa  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.         "[February, 

was  a  man  of  too  many  professions,  and  he  must  take  the 
liberty  to  suspect  him;  that  those  people  were  perpetually 
clamoring  for  reward  on  account  of  their  services  to  the 
republican  cause — eternally  laboring  to  keep  up  the  memory 
and  resentment  of  past  times  and  dissensions,  which  ought 
now  to  be  but  of  secondary  consideration ;  that  the  President 
had  told  him  he  never  had  received  from  the  State  of  Virginia 
one  application  to  remove  a  single  federal  officer,  while  from 
other  States  he  had  been  harassed  by  them  without  number, 
and  had  letters,  and  certificates,  and  affidavits,  and  God  knows 
what,  in  support  of  them ;  that  such  insatiable  avidity  for 
office  was  no  great  proof  of  merit ;  and  he  told  such  people, 
Gentlemen,  if  you  supported  republican  principles  because  you 
thought  them  essential  to  the  welfare  of  your  country,  you 
surely  cannot  expect  personal  reward  for  that ;  if  from  merely 
interested  and  selfish  purposes,  you  have  no  right  to  reward. 
He  said  much  more  to  the  same  effect.  His  tongue  runs  fast 
when  once  a  going,  and  he  slides  from  one  subject  to  another 
by  light  and  successive  transitions  which  generally  land  his 
discourse  wide  from  where  it  started.  From  the  specimens  I 
have  had  of  his  conversation,  he  is  very  free  in  his  animadver- 
sions both  on  men  and  things.  This  is  what  some  men  may 
be  with  impunity ;  but  I  am  not  one  of  them.  At  General 
Turreau's  he  renewed  the  subject  of  the  Georgia  Land  claims, 
and  said  over  again  to  Mr.  Madison  all  he  had  said  to  me,  and 
much  more,  against  them.  Mr.  Madison  appealed  to  the  agree- 
ment between  the  United  States  and  Georgia,  and  the  reserva- 
tion of  lands  made  for  the  express  purpose  of  quieting  those 
claims.  Giles  said  that  was  a  very  incorrect  and  improper  pro- 
ceeding, and  ought  not  to  be  sanctioned  by  us.  General  Tur- 
reau's dinner  was  to  the  heads  of  Departments,  with  their  ladies 
— General  Mason  and  Mr.  Taylor,  with  their  ladies — Messrs. 
Giles,  Dayton,  and  Logan,  of  the  Senate,  and  Messrs.  Nicholson 
and  Eppes,  of  the  House. 

2d.  In  Senate,  Mr.  Giles's  Louisiana  bill  was  again  debated 
and  again  postponed.  The  Vice-President  appeared,  but  is  not 
to  take  the  chair  until  Monday.  The  Treaty  with  the  Creeks 
was  at  length  rejected — twelve  ayes,  nineteen  nays.      Before 


1805.]  THE   SENATE    OF   THE    UNITED   STATES.  345 

the  taking  of  the  final  question,  Mr.  Brown  moved,  as  an 
amendment  to  the  resolution  of  ratification,  to  strike  out  all 
but  the  introductory  words,  and  insert  a  postponement  until 
next  session.  A  division  of  the  question  was  called  for,  and 
of  course  the  first  question  was  only  on  the  striking  out.  There 
were  twenty  votes  for  striking  out,  and  eleven  "  that  the  words 
should  stand,"  according  to  the  mode  of  taking  the  question 
prescribed  by  the  Senate's  thirty-eighth  rule.  The  President 
decided  that  the  vote  was  not  carried,  and  the  words  must 
stand.  They  did  stand,  therefore,  and  the  question  was  taken 
in  a  form  against  the  opinion  of  nearly  two-thirds,  when  the 
real  intent  of  the  rule  is  that  the  final  question  shall  be  taken 
only  in  the  form  to  which  two-thirds  shall  agree.  General 
Dayton,  and,  what  much  more  surprised  me,  Mr.  Tracy,  sup- 
ported this  decision  of  the  President,  which  was  in  direct  op- 
position both  to  the  letter  and  the  intent  of  the  rule.  The 
embarrassment  arose  from  its  being  an  unusual  mode  of  taking 
questions  at  this  time.  It  was  a  familiar  one  in  the  old  Con- 
gress, and  there  such  a  question  would  not  have  arisen.  I  went 
into  the  House  of  Representatives,  and  spoke  to  Mr.  Plater 
respecting  the  amendments  to  the  Georgetown  Charter  bill. 
Just  after  I  went  in,  the  question  on  the  Georgia  Land  claims 
was  taken  in  the  House,  and  carried  in  their  favor — sixty-three 
ayes,  fifty-eight  nays ;  to  bring  in  a  bill. 

4th.  This  being  the  day  fixed  for  receiving  Judge  Chase's 
answer,  at  about  one  o'clock  the  Senate  went  into  the  hall, 
which  had  been  fitted  up  for  the  occasion.  The  managers  from 
the  House  appeared,  as  did  Mr.  Chase,  with  Luther  Martin 
and  R.  G.  Harper,  of  Baltimore,  and  F.  Hopkinson,  of  Phila- 
delphia, as  his  counsel.  They  read  his  answer,  which  took 
them  about  three  hours  and  a  half;  it  being  very  full  and  par- 
ticular to  each  article.  Mr.  Randolph,  as  Chairman  of  the 
House,  asked  for  a  copy  of  the  answer,  and  time  to  consult  the 
House  of  Representatives  and  to  put  in  their  replication.  The 
Senate  returned  to  their  temporary  room,  and  immediately  ad- 
journed to  half-past  ten — the  hour  at  which  they  are  to  meet  in 
future. 

5th.  On  going  to  the  Senate  this  morning,  I  found  them 


-,46  MEMOIRS    OF   JOHN  QUIKCY  ADAMS.  [February, 

already  engaged  on  the  Clearance  bill;  and  an  incident  not 
very  singular  in  these  times  soon  occurred.  On  the  14th  of 
last  month,  this  bill,  together  with  some  amendments  proposed 
by  a  former  select  committee,  was  recommitted  to  a  second 
select  committee  of  five,  who  were  to  report  an  entire  new  bill, 
that  which  came  from  the  House  of  Representatives  being,  after 
long  and  repeated  debates,  given  up  as  untenable  by  all  sides. 
This  second  committee  accordingly  reported,  some  ten  days 
since,  a  new  bill,  and  upon  its  being  taken  this  morning  I  ex- 
pected that  this  would  be  the  subject  of  the  debate.  But  Mr.  Giles 
was  not  in  his  seat ;  and  when  the  first  question,  on  striking 
out  the  original  bill,  was  called,  Mr.  Breckinridge,  without 
making  any  observations,  barely  called  for  the  yeas  and  nays, 
and  by  a  majority  of  nineteen  to  twelve  the  striking  out  was 
rejected.  So  that  the  debate  then  was  immediately  thrown  back 
upon  the  very  bill  which  three  weeks  since  had  been  as  by 
common  consent  abandoned.  This  was  so  evidently  the  result 
of  consultations  out  of  doors,  that  it  had  the  appearance  of  a 
determination  to  crowd  the  bill  down  at  all  events.  The  new 
bill,  which  General  Smith,  the  chairman  of  the  committee,  had 
taken  great  pains  to  draw  up,  and  which  was  very  long,  could 
not  be  discussed  at  all ;  and  he  was  driven  to  move  amendments 
in  that  which  came  from  the  House.  Some  of  these  were  at 
length  adopted  after  Mr.  Giles  came  into  the  Senate  and  took 
the  wheel  at  helm  from  Breckinridge.  Dr.  Logan,  seemingly 
encouraged  by  the  turn  of  tide  on  this  subject,  gave  notice  that 
before  the  final  passage  of  the  bill  he  should  move  for  an  addi- 
tional section  prohibiting  the  trade  to  St.  Domingo  altogether. 
He  came  to  my  seat  and  showed  me  a  letter  from  his  kinsman 
Mr.  John  Dickinson  on  this  and  other  subjects,  urging  strongly 
a  total  interdiction  of  the  trade,  and  censuring  severely  the  bill 
passed  by  the  House,  as  sanctioning  the  trade  under  color  of 
restraining  it.  He  also  gives  it  as  his  opinion  that  Louisiana 
may  be  admitted  into  the  Union  as  a  State  without  an  amend- 
ment to  the  Constitution,  but  hopes  Congress  will  not  be 
hurried  or  driven  into  any  such  measure  by  terror.  As  to  the 
impeachment  of  Judge  Chase,  he  says,  "  however  I  may  have 
been  hurt  by  his  conduct  on  the  bench,  I  cannot  decide  him 


iSos.]  THE   SENATE    OF   THE    UNITED  STATES.  347 

guilty  until  all  the  evidence  shall  appear."  The  Clearance  bill 
was  postponed,  and  some  other  objects  of  less  moment  passed 
upon.  Mr.  Bayard  moved  for  the  printing  of  Mr.  Chase's 
answer,  which  was  carried.  Mr.  Dayton  moved,  in  executive 
business,  to  send  back  to  the  President  the  Treaty  with  the 
Creek  Indians,  lately  rejected,  with  a  recommendation  for  fur- 
ther negotiation.     Motion  lies  for  consideration. 

6:h.  The  Clearance  bill  was  again  taken  up,  and  two-thirds 
of  the  sitting  employed  in  debating  the  second  section,  until  its 
absurdity  stared  so  broadly  in  the  face  of  every  one,  that  it 
could  no  longer  be  supported.  Dr.  Mitchell  then  moved  to 
strike  out  of  it  one  word  ;  but  Mr.  Giles  was  not  quite  prepared 
to  give  it  up,  and  moved  a  postponement.  This  was  supported 
by  General  Jackson,  who  had  some  doubts  on  his  mind  and 
wanted  time.  In  opposing  a  postponement,  I  hinted  hypothet- 
ically  at  its  probable  object — another  out-of-door  consultation 
— which  I  considered  as  likely  only  to  prepare  another  day's 
debate  on  the  same  section.  Mr.  Anderson  called  me  to  order. 
I  sat  down.  The  President  enquired  of  Mr.  Anderson  in  what 
respect  he  had  supposed  me  out  of  order.  He  said  by  alluding 
to  any  thing  that  had  taken  place  out  of  doors.  The  President 
decided  that  I  was  in  order,  as  I  spoke  hypothetically,  and 
without  alluding  to  any  thing  past.    The  subject  was  postponed. 

7th.  A  message  from  the  House  of  Representatives  was 
received,  informing  that  they  had  agreed  upon  a  replication  to 
the  answer  of  Judge  Chase,  and  directed  their  managers  to 
bring  it  to  the  Senate.  Some  debate  arose  as  to  the  proper 
mode  of  proceeding  to  receive  it,  but  it  was  finally  agreed  to 
receive  it  in  the  hall.  At  two  o'clock,  accordingly,  the  Senate 
went  in.  The  managers  immediately  appeared,  as  did  Mr. 
Hopkinson  for  Judge  Chase.  Mr.  Randolph  read  the  replica- 
tion, which  was  short,  general,  and  urging  a  speedy  trial.  Mr. 
Breckinridge  moved  to  send  the  House  a  message  that  the 
Senate  would  to-morrow  proceed  with  the  trial ;  and  on  the 
question  the  thirty-four  Senators  all  answered  aye.  Mr.  Hop- 
kinson requested  a  copy  of  the  replication,  which  the  President 
directed  the  Secretary  to  furnish  him ;  after  which  the  Senate 
returned  to  the  legislative  apartment.     The  Clearance  bill  was 


-,48  MEMOIRS    OF   JOHN   QUINCY  ADAMS.  [February, 

again  taken  up,  and  debated  until  past  four  o'clock  without 
coming  to  any  decision. 

8th.  The  Senate  were  engaged  in  business  not  requiring 
debate  until  twelve  o'clock,  when  they  went  into  the  hall.  The 
managers  appeared,  as  did  Mr.  Chase  with  his  former  counsel ; 
and,  in  addition,  Mr.  Jeremiah  Chase,  the  Chief  Justice  of  Mary- 
land, Mr.  Key,  and  the  Judge's  son,  and  a  son  of  Mr.  Law.  Mr. 
Randolph  requested  that  the  witnesses  summoned  on  the  part 
of  the  House  might  be  called;  which  they  were.  Several  of 
them  did  not  answer.  Mr.  Randolph  then  moved,  for  various 
considerations  which  he  said  it  was  not  necessary  to  detail,  that 
the  trial  should  be  postponed  until  to-morrow,  when  the  man- 
agers expected  to  be  ready  to  proceed.  At  present  they  were 
not  ready.  Mr.  Harper  rose  and  said  the  defendant  did  not 
object  to  this  postponement,  but — he  was  then  stopped  by  the 
President,  who,  without  consulting  the  Senate,  informed  the 
managers  that  the  Senate  would  be  in  the  hall  to-morrow  at 
twelve  o'clock  and  then  proceed  with  the  trial.  Mr.  Chase's 
witnesses  were  then  called  over,  several  of  whom  did  not  appear, 
and  we  returned  to  the  legislative  room.  The  Tennessee  Land 
Title  bill  was  taken  up  at  the  third  reading,  and  rejected.  Mr. 
Breckinridge,  by  instructions  from  the  Legislature  of  Kentucky, 
offered  an  amendment  to  the  Constitution,  curtailing  the  juris- 
diction of  the  United  States  Courts. 

9th.  After  the  adjournment  of  the  Senate  yesterday,  I  en- 
quired of  Mr.  Burr,  the  Vice-President,  upon  what  principle  he 
had  granted  the  postponement  moved  for  by  the  chairman  of 
the  managers  without  consulting  the  Senate.  He  said  it  was 
because  he  conceived  it  an  object  upon  which  there  could  be 
no  difference  of  opinion  ;  that  the  managers  ought  not  to  have 
stated  it  in  the  form  of  a  motion ;  that  it  was  simply  a  state- 
ment that  they  were  personally  not  ready,  and  of  course  the 
business  could  not  proceed.  This  morning  he  desired  me  to 
mention  the  subject  in  my  place,  which  I  accordingly  did.  He 
then  assigned  the  same  reasons,  and  referred  for  precedent  to 
the  practice  in  the  British  Parliament,  particularly  on  Hastings's 
trial.  He  said  that  upon  all  such  incidental  and  occasional 
motions,  he  thought,  for  avoiding  delay  and  unnecessary  incon- 


1805.]  THE   SENATE    OF  THE    UNITED   STATES.  349 

venience,  he  should  decide,  subject,  however,  to  a  call  from  any 
one  member  of  the  Senate  who  might  dissent  from  his  opinion, 
for  a  regular  question  to  be  taken.  At  twelve  o'clock  the  Court 
of  Impeachments  met  in  the  hall.  Mr.  Randolph,  chairman  of 
the  managers,  in  a  speech  of  about  an  hour  and  a  half,  opened 
the  cause  on  the  part  of  the  House,  in  support  of  the  eight 
articles.  Two  witnesses  were  then  examined  to  the  facts  al- 
leged in  the  first  article — William  Lewis  and  Alexander  James 
Dallas.  By  the  time  they  had  got  through  their  testimony  it 
was  four  o'clock.  The  Court  retired  to  the  legislative  apart- 
ment, and  immediately  adjourned. 

ioth.  I  was  employed  all  the  morning  reading  over  the  new 
Articles  of  War,  which  General  Wilkinson  has  drawn  up  for 
the  consideration  of  the  committee,  and  Judge  Chase's  answer, 
which  I  did  not  entirely  go  through.  I  dined  with  Mr.  Stod- 
dert1  at  Georgetown.  The  Judges  Marshall,  Washington,  and 
Winchester  were  there ;  Colonel  Washington,  Mr.  David  M. 
Randolph,  formerly  Marshal,  Mr.  Hopkins,  formerly  Treasurer 
of  Virginia,  and  Mr.  Lewis,  a  member  of  the  House  of  Repre- 
sentatives. This  company  was  very  agreeable,  and  the  dinner 
remarkably  pleasant,  which  made  me  too  sociable,  and  I  talked 
too  much.  About  nine  in  the  evening  I  came  home,  and  found 
Mr.  Tabbs  below.  I  enquired  of  Judge  Marshall  whether  he 
knew  the  writer  of  a  Vindication  of  his  first  volume  of  Wash- 
ington's Life,  against  an  attack  of  certain  British  Reviewers, 
which  was  published  in  the  Gazette  of  the  United  States.  He 
said  he  did  not.  But  he  complained  that,  from  having  been 
forced  to  precipitate  so  much  the  publication,  there  were  so 
many  errors  and  imperfections  in  it  that  he  was  ashamed  of  it.2 

nth.  The  annual  appropriation  bill  for  the  support  of  Gov- 
ernment was  taken  up  as  in  committee;  but,  some  debate  arising 
upon  it,  the  hour  for  the  Court's  meeting  arrived,  and  the  bill 
was  postponed.  Soon  after  twelve  the  Court  met,  and  sat  until 
half-past  five,  examining  four  witnesses  on  the  part  of  the  man- 

1  Ben  Stoddert,  Secretary  of  the  Navy  in  the  administration  of  John  Adams. 

2  In  the  preface  to  the  second  edition  of  this  work,  published  in  1832,  the  author 
used  the  opportunity  to  make  the  same  explanation.  The  ie vision  was  then  care 
fully  made. 


350  MEMOIRS    OF   JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [February, 

agers — Edward  Tilghman,  W.  S.  Biddle,  William  Rawle,  and 
George  Hay.  The  examination  of  this  last  witness  was  not 
completed.  After  five  o'clock  a  motion  for  adjournment  of  the 
Court  was  made,  and  declared  by  the  President  not  to  be  passed 
— on  which  Mr.  Tracy,  Mr.  Dayton,  and  Mr.  Plumer  left  their 
seats  and  the  hall.  Shortly  after,  however,  the  motion  to  ad- 
journ was  renewed,  and  carried.  We  returned  to  the  legislative 
apartment,  and  the  President  censured  with  some  severity  the 
members  who  had  left  their  seats.  Mr.  Stone  said  if  any  notice 
was  to  be  taken  of  gentlemen  leaving  their  seats,  he  hoped  it 
would  not  be  by  any  other  authority  than  that  of  the  whole 
Senate.  Mr.  Burr  said  if  it  should  again  happen,  he  should 
take  the  opinion  of  the  Senate  upon  it ;  and  that  if  members 
wished  to  absent  themselves,  they  must  ask  leave.  Mr.  Hill- 
house  said  he  hoped  then  the  Senate  would  sit  only  at  reason- 
able hours ;  that  his  colleague's  (Mr.  Tracy)  health  was  such 
that  he  could  not  without  danger  to  his  life  be  kept  sitting  in 
such  a  manner  as  there  appeared  a  disposition  to  compel  him 
to,  and  that  he  had  suffered  very  much  before  the  first  motion 
to  adjourn  was  made.  This  topic  was  becoming  unpleasant, 
but  was  terminated  by  an  adjournment.  I  called  on  Mr.  Stock- 
ton at  Stelle's.  He  is  here  upon  the  business  of  Mr.  Graves, 
and  expected  I  should  argue  the  cause.  I  told  him  that  would 
be  impossible,  for  two  reasons :  first,  because  I  could  not  quit 
the  business  pending  in  the  Senate,  and  secondly,  because,  cir- 
cumstanced as  I  am,  a  scruple  of  delicacy  forbade  me  to  appear 
as  counsel  before  a  Court  where  Judge  Chase  was  sitting,  while 
his  cause  was  undecided. 

1 2th.  To-morrow  being  the  day  upon  which  the  votes  re- 
turned for  President  and  Vice-President  of  the  United  States 
are  to  be  opened  and  declared,  a  resolution,  at  the  motion  of 
Mr.  Tracy,  passed,  on  the  manner  of  performing  this  cere- 
mony, which  was  sent  to  the  House  of  Representatives.  They 
soon  after  sent  another,  of  a  different  sort,  which  was  not  con- 
curred in  by  the  Senate.  This  and  some  other  subjects  of 
slight  debate  occupied  us  until  half-past  twelve,  when  we  went 
into  the  Hall  and  sat  in  Court  of  Impeachment  until  about  four. 
The   managers  continued  the  examination   of  witnesses,  who 


1805.]  THE   SENATE    OF   THE    UNITED   STATES.  35  j 

were  George  Hay  again,  Col.  John  Taylor,  Philip  Norborne 
Nicholas,  John  Thomson  Mason,  and  John  Heath.  After  re- 
turning to  the  room,  the  Senate  sat  there  about  half  an  hour 
before  adjournment.  Another  day,  it  is  said,  will  finish  the 
examination  of  witnesses  on  the  part  of  the  managers. 

13th.  The  business  first  transacted  this  day  was  the  declara- 
tion of  the  elections  of  President  and  Vice-President.  The 
House  of  Representatives  concurred  in  the  resolution  which 
yesterday  passed  in  Senate  on  the  subject.  Mr.  Tracy  moved 
a  resolution  for  having  the  galleries  closed  while  the  votes 
should  be  counted  and  declared ;  but,  this  giving  rise  to  some 
debate,  the  motion  was  withdrawn.  At  the  last  election  they 
were  closed.  Mr.  Wright  moved,  and  insisted  upon,  a  resolu- 
tion that  they  should  be  open ;  which  was  carried.  Mr.  Smith 
of  Maryland  was  chosen  the  Teller  on  the  part  of  the  Senate. 
At  precisely  twelve  the  two  Houses  met  in  convention.  The 
Vice-President  opened  the  duplicate  returns,  and  the  votes  were 
read  and  minuted  down  by  the  tellers.  There  was  some  ques- 
tion on  the  accuracy  of  the  returns  from  the  State  of  Ohio;  but 
they  were  finally  received.  The  whole  number  of  electors  and 
of  votes  was  one  hundred  and  seventy-six,  of  which  one  hun- 
dred and  sixty-two  were  for  Thomas  Jefferson  as  President  and 
George  Clinton  as  Vice-President,  and  fourteen  for  Charles 
Cotesworth  Pinckney  as  President  and  Rufus  King  as  Vice- 
President.  After  two  hours  employed  in  reading  and  sum- 
ming up  the  returns,  the  Vice-President  declared  Thomas 
Jefferson  and  George  Clinton  to  be  duly  elected  to  the  respect- 
ive offices  of  President  and  Vice-President  of  the  United  States 
for  four  years,  commencing  on  the  4th  of  March  next.  The 
two  Houses  then  retired  for  about  half  an  hour,  and  then  re- 
turned again  to  the  hall,  to  proceed  in  the  trial  of  the  impeach- 
ment. John  Heath  was  again  examined,  as  was  also  James 
Triplet;  and,  on  the  part  of  Judge  Chase,  John  Bassett,  the 
juror  on  Callender's  trial.  These  two  last  witnesses  were  dis- 
charged after  their  examination.  At  four  o'clock  the  Court 
retired,  and  the  Senate  adjourned. 

14th.  It  was  agreed  this  morning  in  Senate  to  meet  for  the 
future,  at  the  Court  of  Impeachment,  at  ten  o'clock  every  morn- 


,„  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN  QUINCY  ADAMS.  [February, 

ing,  and  proceed  in  the  trial  until  two  or  three  in  the  after- 
noon;  then  adjourn  the  Court,  and,  after  a  slight  collation, 
which  the  President  said  he  would  order  to  be  provided,  pro- 
ceed upon  the  legislative  business,  until  five  or  six  in  the 
evening.  This  arrangement  to  commence  to-morrow.  At  noon 
we  went  into  Court,  and  the  examination  of  the  witnesses  on 
the  part  of  the  managers  was  concluded,  excepting  nine  who 
have  been  summoned  but  have  not  attended.  The  managers 
reserved  to  themselves  the  liberty  of  examining  these  witnesses 
whenever  they  should  attend.  They  also  offered  two  records 
in  evidence,  which  were  received.  At  about  four  o'clock  the 
Court  retired;  and  Senate  adjourned  half  an  hour  afterwards. 
I  dined  at  Stelle's,  with  Mr.  Rawle,  Mr.  Hopkinson,  Mr.  Mere- 
dith, and  Mr.  Ewing,  of  Philadelphia,  and  sat  with  them  until 
between  eight  and  nine  in  the  evening. 

15th.  The  Court  met  this  morning  a  few  minutes  after  ten. 
I  took  my  seat  within  a  few  minutes  after,  and  before  the  Court 
was  opened.  At  half-past  ten  o'clock  several  of  the  managers 
had  not  arrived,  and,  among  the  rest,  their  chairman,  Mr.  Ran- 
dolph. Mr.  Rodney  moved  the  Court  to  wait  for  him;  which 
was  agreed  to.  After  waiting  about  a  quarter  of  an  hour 
longer,  it  was  determined  to  proceed.  Mr.  Randolph  did  not 
come  in  until  after  twelve  o'clock.  Mr.  Harper  opened  the 
defence  on  the  part  of  Judge  Chase,  in  a  speech  of  about  half 
an  hour.  Several  witnesses  were  then  examined  as  to  the  first 
article — Samuel  Ewing,  Edward  J.  Coles,  William  Rawle,  and 
William  Meredith.  A  charge  of  Judge  Iredell  to  the  Grand 
Jury,  on  the  first  trial  of  Fries,  was  read,  and  Dallas's  Report  of 
the  case  of  Vigol  and  Mitchell  was  cited.  On  the  five  articles 
relating  to  Callender's  trial,  Luther  Martin,  James  Winchester, 
and  William  Marshall  were  examined. 

The  Court  retired  at  about  half-past  two,  and,  after  the  Sena- 
tors had  taken  a  light  collation,  at  about  three  commenced  upon 
legislative  business.  The  Orleans  Government  bill  was  taken 
up,  and  debated  until  nearly  seven  in  the  evening,  when  we 
adjourned,  and  I  came  home.  I  was  too  much  fatigued  and 
exhausted  to  do  any  thing  in  the  evening.  Mr.  Nicholson  this 
day  discovered  a  disposition  to  be  captious,  as  to  the  admission 


1S05.]  THE   SENATE    OF   THE    UNITED   STATES.  353 

of  evidence  on  the  part  of  Judge  Chase  ;  though  a  vast  body  of 
the  most  exceptionable  testimony  had  been  offered,  and  by  his 
consent  freely  admitted.  In  one  instance,  Nicholson  insisted 
upon  taking  the  opinion  of  the  Court,  and  the  testimony  was 
necessarily  rejected.  Randolph  and  Rodney,  however,  shamed 
him  out  of  such  objections,  which  were  not  afterwards  repeated. 
Some  testimony  not  strictly  admissible  was  therefore  received 
by  consent  of  the  managers ;  but  Mr.  Cocke  and  Mr.  Wright 
insisted  upon  its  being  rejected,  and  took  a  vote  on  the  ques- 
tion. They  were,  however,  not  supported  by  the  opinion  of 
any  other  member. 

1 6th.  I  was  this  morning  at  the  Senate  chamber  within  five 
minutes  after  ten.  It  was  a  quarter  of  an  hour  later  before  a 
quorum  was  formed  and  we  went  into  the  Court.  As  I  was 
going  up  to  the  Capitol,  Mr.  Giles,  in  his  carriage,  passed  me 
just  beyond  the  President's  house.  His  carriage  stopped  at 
Mr.  Randolph's  lodgings.  This  reminded  me  of  an  incident 
which  occurred  a  few  days  since,  when,  at  some  incident  of  the 
trial,  Mr.  Randolph,  chairman  of  the  managers,  and  Mr.  Giles,  a 
member  of  the  Court,  left  their  seats  at  the  same  time,  went  out 
of  Court  for  a  few  minutes,  and  returned  nearly  together.  These 
incidents,  concurring  with  the  opinions  of  Giles  against  Judge 
Chase,  so  long,  so  openly,  and  so  often  declared,  have  an  appear- 
ance of  concert  in  every  step  of  this  prosecution,  which  is  not 
very  consistent  with  my  ideas  of  impartial  justice.  The  exam- 
ination of  witnesses  on  the  part  of  Judge  Chase  was  continued. 
The  last  of  them  was  David  Robertson,  who  took  in  short-hand 
the  greater  part  of  Callender's  trial,  which  he  this  day  read. 

At  half-past  two  the  Court  retired,  and  at  three  resumed  in 
legislative  business  the  Orleans  Government  bill.  Adjourned  at 
about  six,  without  taking  the  final  question.  Mr.  Cocke  moved 
a  question  in  Court  this  day,  whether  in  any  case  evidence  should 
be  given  by  any  person,  of  any  opinion.  Mr.  Burr,  the  President, 
declared  that  he  could  not  put  the  question,  it  being  too  abstract; 
but  that  it  might  be  put,  if  in  any  specific  instance  a  witness's 
testimony  should  be  objected  to  on  that  ground.  It  was  indeed 
the  substance  of  the  question  yesterday  decided. 

1 8th.  I  arrived  at  the  Capitol  at  a  quarter-past  ten  this  morn- 

VOL.  I. — 23 


354 


MEMOIRS   OF   JOHN   QUINCY  ADAMS.  [February, 


ing,  and  found  the  Court  already  assembled.  They  sat  until 
almost  three.  A  number  of  witnesses  on  the  part  of  Judge 
Chase  were  examined,  going  to  the  defence  of  the  articles  from 
the  second  to  the  eighth  and  last  inclusive.  The  Judge  him- 
self, and  Mr.  Randolph,  the  chairman,  appeared  to  be  much 
indisposed.  On  account  of  Mr.  Randolph's  illness,  Mr.  Nich- 
olson moved  the  Court  to  adjourn  at  about  two  o'clock;  but 
Mr.  Randolph  himself  desiring  the  trial  might  proceed,  the 
adjournment  was  refused.  Mr.  Cocke  made  another  motion 
this  day  which  the  President  declined  to  put.  It  went  in  sub- 
stance to  pass  judgment  on  the  fifth  and  sixth  articles  at  this 
stage.  After  the  usual  interval,  the  Senate  proceeded  to  legis- 
lative business,  and  passed  the  Orleans  Government  bill.  A 
bill  from  the  House  appropriating  five  thousand  dollars  to  pay 
the  witnesses  on  the  part  of  the  United  States,  and  other  ex- 
penses of  the  impeachment,  was  twice  read,  and  committed. 
Some  other  bills  were  also  committed.  Senate  adjourned  after 
six  in  the  evening. 

19th.  I  was  just  in  season  this  morning  at  the  Senate.  The 
examination  of  the  witnesses  on  the  part  of  Judge  Chase  was 
concluded.  Several  of  the  preceding  witnesses  on  both  sides 
were  re-examined,  and  one  new  witness  on  the  part  of  the 
managers  was  produced.  Mr.  Randolph  then  moved  the  Court 
to  adjourn  until  to-morrow,  to  allow  the  managers  time  to 
digest  the  mass  of  testimony  and  prepare  to  comment  upon  it; 
which  was  acquiesced  in,  though  not  desired  by  the  Judge's 
counsel.  It  was  agreed  that  the  argument  should  commence 
with  the  managers,  then  be  taken  up  by  the  counsel  for  the 
Judge  in  his  defence,  and  finally  closed  by  the  managers.  Judge 
Chase,  in  a  written  paper  read  by  Mr.  Harper,  requested  per- 
mission for  the  future  to  be  absent  from  the  Court,  as  he  is 
now  laboring  under  a  severe  attack  of  the  gout,  which  has  been 
several  days  coming  on.  The  President  informed  him  that  his 
personal  attendance  was  entirely  at  his  own  option,  and  could 
not  be  compelled  by  the  Court.  Mr.  Randolph  stated  that  the 
managers  expected  one  very  material  witness,  who  would  prob- 
ably be  here  to-morrow  morning  ;  but  if  not,  they  would  go 
on  without  him.       Soon  after  one  o'clock  the   Court  retired. 


1805.]  THE   SENATE    OF    THE    UNITED   STATES.  355 

Senate  immediately  took  up  the  Clearance  bill ;  and,  after 
debating  and  amending  various  sections,  it  passed  to  the  third 
reading  at  about  five  o'clock.  Some  other  business  of  form 
was  transacted  before  adjournment. 

20th.  I  was  obliged  this  morning  by  the  rain  to  ride  to  the 
Capitol.  I  was  in  Senate  before  a  quorum  formed.  It  was  half- 
past  ten  when  we  went  into  Court.  One  additional  witness, 
arrived  since  yesterday,  was  examined  on  the  part  of  the  man- 
agers. Many  of  the  other  witnesses  desiring  to  be  discharged, 
it  was  proposed  to  the  parties  that  all  the  witnesses  should  be 
released  from  further  attendance ;  this  was  consented  to  by  the 
Judge's  counsel,  and  though  at  first  refused  by  the  managers, 
who  said  they  would  abide  by  the  order  of  the  Court  on  the 
subject,  was  finally  agreed  to  on  their  own  proposal,  after  a 
decision  of  the  Court  not  to  discharge  them  without  their 
consent.  The  argument  upon  the  evidence  was  opened  on  the 
part  of  the  managers  by  Mr.  Peter  Early,  who,  in  a  speech  of 
about  an  hour  and  a  half,  travelled  over  the  whole  ground  of 
the  articles.  It  was  chiefly  declamatory,  though  in  some  parts 
argumentative.  He  took  up  most  of  the  points  made  by  Mr. 
Randolph's  opening,  previous  to  the  examination  of  the  wit- 
nesses, and  made  very  little  addition  of  new  matter;  nor  did 
he  cite  or  refer  to  any  authorities.  He  was  followed  by  Mr. 
G.  W.  Campbell,  who,  after  an  exordium  touching  lightly  on 
the  nature  of  impeachments  under  our  Constitution,  spoke 
about  an  hour  and  a  half  to  the  first  article.  He  then  observed 
that  he  found  himself  indisposed,  and  requested  a  short  in- 
terval of  repose.  The  Court  adjourned  for  half  an  hour.  On 
returning,  Mr.  Campbell  stated  that  he  was  unable  then  to  pro- 
ceed, and,  none  of  the  other  managers  being  prepared,  they 
desired  to  be  indulged  with  time  until  the  morning.  This  was 
allowed,  and  the  Senate  returned  to  their  legislative  business. 
Several  bills  were  passed  at  various  stages,  and  among  the  rest 
I  obtained  that  the  Georgetown  Charter  bill  should  pass  to 
the  third  reading.  The  resolution  for  printing  the  Impeach- 
ment Journals  was  also  at  length  taken  up,  and  passed,  though 
by  a  small  majority,  without  discussion.  Adjourned  between 
five  and  six  o'clock. 


^e6  MEMOIRS   OF  JOHN   QUINCY  ADAMS.  [February, 

2 1  st.  Arriving  at  the  Capitol  at  half-past  ten,  I  found  the 
Court  of  Impeachment  just  opened,  and  Mr.  G.  W.  Campbell 
recommencing  his  argument,  which  took  him  about  an  hour- 
He  cited  yesterday  and  this  day  various  authorities.  After 
him  Mr.  Clark  made  a  very  few  observations  on  the  fifth  and 
sixth  articles,  which  were  peculiarly  left  to  the  Virginian  man- 
agers, but  which  are